Testimonials

What Are People Saying?

“Kazi is an inspiration to our BAEO family. His merging of education and entertainment is an extremely effective way to reach our youth. His presentations at BAEO Symposia have always been well attended and packed with engaging tools and resources that our participants have found very valuable.”

Howard Fuller, Founder, Black Alliance For Educational Options (BEAO) , Oakland CA

“Kazi was funning, entertaining and taught us really cool strategies to deal with the challenges we face in our daily lives. He spoke to us in a down-to-earth fashion, and I love how he kept us involved. It was more of a conversation than a lecture.”

Sean Patterson, Laguardia High School, NYC

“Chris “Kazi” Rolle is a born educator who has the life experience to relate to communities that have been economically and socially marginalized as well as the professional skills to work effectively in multiple administrative levels including institutions of higher education. He has the street smarts to know how to relate to the most challenging youth members in a classroom, school or community, but the pedagogical savvy to know how to break down complex issues related to hip hop culture and create real learning opportunities for those in attendance, be they community educators, K-12 teachers or university students.”

Willie Ney, Ex. Dir., Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

“Chris spoke at our annual conference last year and he was incredible! If you want someone to inspire and motivate youth and adults alike across race and age, language of origin or faith, culture or continent, to do the hard teamwork necessary to turn those dreams into reality, you cannot do better. He will leave everyone in his reach with a renewed feeling of hope, personal responsibility, and commitment to do the right things.”

Roberta RichinExecutive Director, Council for Prejudice Reduction, Long Island

“Kazi presented at our annual conference and his words literally brought people to tears. He is a talented performer and passionate speaker whose life story captivates a wide cross section of people from the mature and young alike. His inspirational message of human triumph transcends all racial, ethnic, gender, and economic barriers.”

Prentice D. DavisProgram Manager, Gateway to College National Network

“Chris “Kazi” Rolle’s participation in the 25th Anniversary CES Fall Forum both as a featured speaker for our adult and youth audience, and as the facilitator of our annual Youth Forum was truly transformational. Kazi brings a powerful and motivating message based in personal experience with the potential to change the lives of all he reaches. He has the ability to empower others; to connect them with their purpose, and to develop the agency and efficacy to engage in the work of creating meaningful and lasting change for themselves and their communities.”

Lewis Cohen, Executive Director, Coalition of Essential Schools, Oakland CA

“In my role at BAEO, I seek to find educators who have identified ways to engage disconnected youth through innovative educational approaches and then bring these educators and their models to the staffs and schools we co-create to provide training and professional development. We were so impressed by Kazi’s work that we immediately asked him to provide professional development to the staff at our schools.”

Issac Ewell, Director, Bill + Melinda Gates Small School Initiative

“I first came to know Chris Kazi Rolle through the Hip-Hop Project and was in awe of his selfless leadership style and his uncanny ability to enliven the souls of young folk. Yet it was after I participated in one of his famed workshops that I realized that he was truly without peer and at the forefront of a new movement to transform education for the better.”

Fanon Che. Wilkins Ph. D., Associate Professor, Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan)

“We brought Kazi to work with youth and adults in the schools and villages of Guam, and he was successful in using art and music, to help our young people. He also has been successful in encouraging parents, educators and service providers, to listen to youth as they write, sing and perform — so they can get the message that is being sent by their children (be it sadness, joy, remorse, grief, hope or love).”

Sarah M. Thomas Nededog, Executive Director, Sanctuary Incorporated, Guam

“In a world dominated by stereotypes that define our youth of color as oversexed and over-criminalized drop outs, it is essential schools provide a counter narrative for students to combat these destructive images. At our school, Kazi was a powerful counter narrative. His message of hope, perseverance, and unity, framed within the language of hip hop, hit home in a powerful way. Students were engaged and left both reflective and inquisitive concerning their place among Kazi’s message of purpose and systematic change.”

Chad Weiden, Principal, High School for Social Justice, Chicago

“Whenever an educator seeks to solicit an individual that will influence students in a positive and productive manner, they look for someone who’s capable of commanding attention, connecting with the students on their level and also motivating the students’ desire for more. This is what I have come to find in the presentation of Mr. Chris ‘Kazi” Rolle. His question, “If you had the whole world listening, what would you say,” takes his audiences by storm, leaving us all to ponder our answer to the question and yearning to fulfill our greatest potential as a result of this awakening inquiry.”

Zakiyyah Ali, Social Studies Teacher, The High School for Global Citizenship, NYC

“Kazi was the keynote speaker at our 3rd Annual 2009 Texas Foster Youth Conference hosted by University of Texas at Arlington Center for Child Welfare. The theme of the conference was fitting for Kazi, “Go where there is no path and leave a trail.” Kazi left a trail in the hearts and minds of over 200 foster youth. Kazi’s music and stories motivated and encouraged believing in yourself when others doubt you. Kazi is a dynamic and engaging speaker with a gift for inspiring and empowering youth.”

Maria Scannapieco, Ph.D., Dir., Center for Child Welfare, Texas

“Kazi inspired, motivated and truly moved the attendees at Casey Family Programs’ It’s My Life Conference. As the emcee/master of ceremonies, he kept the two and a half day conference on track and through his speaking, singing, and on and off-stage interaction with the audience, he truly touched many lives.”

Sabrina Urquhart, Director of Communications & Creative Services, Casey Family Programs, Seattle, Washington

“In just ten minutes at one of our national conferences, Kazi had 50 educators laughing, crying, and singing Snoop Dogg lyrics together. He brought a lively, inspirational spirit that got people focused on the real issues and oft ignored potential of young people who have been most disenfranchised.”

Sam Seidel, Author, Hip Hop Genius