Harlem Word: Monique Hedmann, MPH, talks public health and Hip Hop

GHHEditor January 16th, 2015

Monique Hedmann, MPH, is a public health researcher, poet, community health advocate, and premedical student in the Northern Manhattan community who works with Hip Hop Public Health. Here, she talks about promoting health through Hip Hop.

Q: We hear that you are a talented poet and have a passion for Hip Hop. How have you brought together your interest in health and Hip Hop to the Northern Manhattan community?

A: I work with Hip Hop Public Health in Harlem founded by Dr. Olajide Williams. We have programs that use Hip Hop music and music videos, cartoons and other forms of media to bring health messages to children. The children teach their parents, grandparents, and others what they learn.

Q: What are some of the programs at Hip Hop Public Health?

A: We have the Hip Hop Stroke program and a program called Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S (Healthy Eating and Living in Schools). We are also developing a new program called Old S.C.H.O.O.L. Hip Hop which teaches children and their families about Alzheimer’s disease. I also worked to develop the Walk it Out! program at Harlem Hospital Center, which is a physical fitness program for seniors. I started that program in 2009 and we are still going strong! We engage seniors who live here in Harlem in walking, t’ai chi ch’uan (tai chi), qigong (chi gong), and dance. We have also coordinated walking food tours in Harlem where we show people different healthy places to eat and highlight some of the history, architecture, and rich culture of Harlem.

Q: Who is Mo Flow?

A: I have always been a poet—ever since elementary school I have been writing poetry.  My poet name was TheSis. Artie Green, the musical director of Hip Hop Public Health, named me Mo Flow and I loved it! I have made a couple of songs for Hip Hop Public Health with Artie Green. For example, my song “The Mission” is a track on Hip Hop Health: The Album Volume 1. I also have a Hip Hop Public Health blog titled “In the Know with Mo Flow”. My blog and the work we do at Hip Hop Public Health educates people through Hip Hop about different health issues that are affecting our community. Hip Hop music and culture is cool and if you can effectively and creatively combine Hip Hop with health, it is a fun and great way to educate and promote health among the public.

This is the third article from Monique Hedmann, MPH. To read from the beginning, click here.

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