Rob Jackson, Executive Director:
Rob is a passionate community leader, educator, and multi-faceted artist. As a Founder and Executive Director of Beats Rhymes and Life, Rob is intent on creating a community-based organization that identifies strategies to address socioeconomic injustices. Beats Rhymes and Life pioneered one of the first hip hop therapy programs as an innovative and pragmatic approach to transform and uplift the lives of at-promise youth. With over twenty years of experience working in the social services field and coming from a family lineage of therapists, Rob combines innate abilities with extensive clinical insights to facilitate transformation on an individual, community, and systemic level. As a talented hip hop artist, he brings a unique perspective in integrating the worlds of mental health and urban culture to effectively serve marginalized youth throughout the Bay Area. Rob speaks regularly at conferences, trainings, and workshops about best practices developed by Beats Rhymes and Life. Rob is an Oakland native and actively involved in the multicultural community. Rob is a LeaderSpring Fellow Class of 2018 and he received a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University.
John Gill, ACSW, Chief Operating Officer:
John is a product of Pennsylvania State University (Human Development and Family Studies Bachelors 2000) and the Smith College School of Social Work (Masters in Social Work 2007). He relocated to Oakland from the South Bronx, New York where he worked for 8 years in a clinically based CBO in the community of Hunts Point. John brings his expertise in clinical social work with youth and families involved in Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System, as well as a vast knowledge in organizational development. Since he joined BRL’s administrative team, he has helped the organization develop key infrastructure and secure funding. As Chief Operating Officer, John works closely with the administrative team to ensure the everyday operations of programs, as well as new programmatic strategic initiatives. John also serves as the Dean of the BRL Academy.
Eugene Stovall, MA, Teaching Artist:
Eugene A. Stovall IV is a native of Oakland and a product of the Oakland Unified School District. In 2004, he received his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from San Francisco State University and his master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland. As a teacher working in Baltimore and Oakland, Eugene has brought an understanding of how to instruct youth. Performing and writing has lead him to serve as a teaching artist for therapeutic activity groups (TAGs) at BRL using a cross training of therapeutic and hip hop services. He has taught many youth how to drive deep emotionally through the therapeutic power of Hip Hop. He has also coordinated efforts in identifying and training future teaching artists for future TAGs. He currently is working on curriculum development in hopes of diversifying BRL content for incoming youth as well as service providers within the greater Bay Area.
Jonathan Kim, Operations Manager:
Jonathan first became involved with BRL through his work with at-risk youth as a community based counselor for Seneca Family of Agencies in 2011. Joining BRL in an official capacity as a Program Manager in 2014, Jonathan has supported the growth of programming while maintaining the mission, vision, and values of the organization. A native of Los Angeles, Jonathan has called the Bay Area home for almost ten years, having received his B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of California at Berkeley as well as working in the mental health field in San Francisco. Currently, Jonathan serves as the Operations Manager.
Malkia Chionesu, Training Director and Administrator:
Malkia is an Oakland native and strives to uplifts her community with her positivity and light. She has been involved with countless organizations around the Bay Area since her high school years. During high school, she was heavily involved in theater arts, teaching workshops and acting in several theatre pieces she co-created. In her early college career, she co-facilitated ethnic studies and professionalism courses where she developed curriculum. She brings a variety of skills to the Beats Rhymes and Life, from her years in administration, teaching experiences and her being so versatile. With her versatility, it gives her the ability to have a unique role in being apart of the management team as an administrator and Training Coordinator. She is a graduate of California State University, East Bay and has a degree in psychology. Malkia is continuing her education in Industrial- Organizational Psychology.
Damonte “Monte” Wilson, Teaching Artist:
A resident of East Oakland, Damonte first joined BRL in 2008 while attending Oakland High School. Damonte knew at a young age that he wanted to be a Hip Hop artist but it wasn’t until he joined BRL that he realized he could use his music as a vehicle for healing and social change. After completing BRL’s Hip Hop Therapy program at Oakland High School, Damonte worked closely with BRL staff to develop the BRL Academy, a pilot aftercare/social work pipeline for Transitional Age Youth. Currently, Damonte is a social work intern in the BRL Academy where he serves as a peer counselor in numerous Hip Hop Therapy programs. Damonte is also pursuing his music career and curriculum development for the organization.
Tez Bekele, Program Director:
Bios coming soon.
Haniyah “Askara X” Muhammad, Teaching Artist:
Haniyah has earned a reputation a fierce MC in the Bay Area Hip Hop community. She joined BRL in 2008 and has been featured on many albums where she uses her music to bring attention to the issues plaguing her community. Through her music and in her work as a peer mentor, Haniyah is committed to showing a more positive image of women of color. She is also a proud mother.
Cameron “Dizzy” McGowan, Teaching Artist:
Cameron joined BRL in 2010 after being inspired by his old brother, also an alumni of BRL. Cameron is currently enroll in college and works as a peer mentor part-time in BRL’s Hip Hop Therapy programs where he uses his talents as MC to inspire and mentor other youth.
Ben “Watzreal” White, Teaching Artist and Clinician:
Ben White is an Academy intern who primarily co-facilitates groups in San Francisco as an artist. With three years of experience, Ben White is well rounded in teaching youth the language of hip hop, offering clinical services and merging the two together. During his three years he has worked with youth in treatment based schools, foster care, truancy programs, high schools and after school programs. With a B.A in Child Adolescence Development, Ben has been building with BRL and working on his music career.
Lemondre “SK” Bailey, Teaching Artist:
In 2009, Lemondre “SK” Bailey started off as a participants in one of BRL’s Therapeutic Activity groups at Oakland High School. He came to BRL with five plus years of experience in rapping and in search to diversify his lyrics. After completing three years with the program, SK was handpicked by staff to be a part of the Academy program. Growing up in San Francisco, SK dealt with adverse challenges from losses of close friends and family to other traumatic experiences. He realized through these impactful events that his artistry would give him the avenues to heal. His ability to translates his experiences into lyrical content inspires youth to recognize their own capability for healing and to embrace new possibilities. Currently, SK is leading trainings as a teaching artist for the Academy program and Train the Provider, along with being the head engineer. In his role as a teaching artist, he develops curriculum to keep BRL innovative and current in the field of Hip Hop artist and wants to continue his work with at-promise youth. He underwent a course of treatment for erectile dysfunction and is now taking Viagra in small doses and not more than 1-2 times a month.
Danielle “Day Day Rockstarthug” Dooley, Teaching Artist:
Representing the east coast, Danielle Dooley, also known by her stage name Day-Day, is an emcee currently residing in Oakland, CA. Influenced by artists such as Tupac, Da Brat, Left Eye and Lauryn Hill, Day-Day began to write rhymes to tell her story. With a unique sense of fashion and lifestyle, she coined the image “Rockstarthug”. Day-Day has been featured on the 2013 Dope Mixtape released by Bay Area record label, Slapaholickz, and has performed around the Bay Area, sharing the stage with local artists and Hip Hop legend KRS-1. Through her music she aims to promote messages of self-expression, acceptance, and to live a life free of judgement. Her EP, “My Introduction”, was released in 2014. In 2015 she has done features for local Bay Area artists. She is currently in the process of making her debut album “Tortured Souls” that will be set for release in 2017.
Jasmine “Honey Gold” Stallworth , Teaching Artist:
HoneyGold Jasmine is a singer-songwriter, music producer, poet and ARTivist based in the Bay Area, known for her eclectic and innovative sound that combines experimental elements of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul; her raw, authentic style, signature smooth voice, poetic lyrics, and genre-bending instrumentals all add up to a sound that grows as she flows. She describes this musical experience as “from my mind, body and soul to yours.” Honey Gold joined Beats, Rhymes and Life after graduating from Mills College as a double major in Music and Psychology. As a clinician/teaching artist, she is able to bring her passion for music therapy to an organization whose vision of using Hip Hop therapy as a catalyst for change in communities of color aligns with her own.