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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Hip-hop meets healthy living this week at a free workshop on sustainability.
Rapper Khnum “Stic” Ibomu of the politically charged duo dead prez returns to Brooklyn on Friday to discuss social justice and environmentalism as part of the Civic Art Lab’s final pop-up event.
Nonprofit GreenspaceNYC brought more than 40 workshops and courses to the Bed-Stuy community free of charge this summer to raise neighborhood awareness on sustainability.
Programs at the Nostrand Avenue space have included showcases from local artists, urban gardening tutorials, and talks on economics and architecture.
With their culminating session on Aug. 14, organizers Laura Scherling and Jeff Kasper are hoping to blend art and design with environmental education.
“Stic is really on the ground working with initiatives that directly touch the community,” Scherling said.
“With his work as an artist and musician, he takes that to develop various fitness and health initiatives, and it’s the exact blend of what we’ve been working on.”
Stic, 41, founded RBG Fit Club, a holistic movement aimed at using hip-hop to support and encourage healthy lifestyles. The organization stands for “Reaching Bigger Goals,” and also takes its name after a dead prez album.
“Dead prez had a big following around activism and being healthy,” Stic said, adding that the rap duo was known to throw apples into concert crowds to promote wellness.
“I thought, what if we put together something that said it’s cool to work out, it’s cool to meditate, it’s cool to be a sober soldier?”
The Atlanta-based advocate said he’s hoping to share his experiences with attendees this Friday to help others on their journey to health.
While living in Fort Greene in his early 20s, Stic lived across from a liquor store that he regularly frequented, he said.
He woke up from a night of partying and realized he had developed gout, he said, and changed his lifestyle to incorporate veganism, martial arts, running, Muay Thai and more.
“There is a huge momentum in the urban community around farming but the average, urban city dweller feels there is a disconnect in the green movement, or that it’s a luxury,” Stic said.
“I try to relate and connect with multicultural people to let them know sustainability is not new to us or our heritage. I bridge between the green and the red, black and green,” he added, referencing the colors of the Pan-African flag.
Friday’s Civic Art Lab event will cover issues around social justice as well as Stic’s work as a musician and community leader.
A vegan, soy-free and gluten-free dinner will be provided and a Q&A will follow the presentation.
“Sustainability & Social Justice in a Digital Age” will take place on Aug. 14 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at 456B Nostrand Ave. Attendees must register for free tickets online.