The concert, originally scheduled to take place at Somerville’s High School, has been relocated to Cambridge. Organized by Centro Presente’s youth program Pintamos Nuestro Mundo (PNM) or We Paint Our World, the event was planned as a way to educate youth throughout the Greater Boston area on the realities faced by immigrant youth. «The idea was to do it in a fun, safe and engaging way», stated Jair Morales, a peer leader and organizer of the event. However, police officials in Somerville cancelled the permit on Monday citing concerns over recent drive-by shootings in the area and indicating that they could not provide appropriate protection to concert goers. «We understand and appreciate the concern of the Somerville Police Department in wanting to protect our youth,» stated Wil Renderos, Youth Leadership Program Coordinator. «At the same time, the youth have been working really hard organizing the event for weeks and we felt that we owed it to them to demonstrate our faith and trust in them, so we are thankful to Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons and to Cambridge’s Youth Center for having allowed us to use their venue with such little notice,» Renderos added.
The Hip Hop Concert will promote the Welcome Massachusetts Campaign, a state-wide initiative that seeks to re-affirm basic principles of democracy, compassion, hospitality, and empathy for every human being, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion or immigration status. The Show will include presentations from local hip hop artists, spoken word, dance performances, and speeches from local youth. Special guests include Zullo, DJ Yamin, and many more.