The Youth Popular Culture Institute is a 501 8 3 non-profit research, communications and production company comprised of certified educators, researchers, writers, multimedia specialists, students, community activists, parents, producers, social marketing specialists, health professionals and telecommunications experts who are committed to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, health and social welfare of youth and families who are most at risk for failure. Established in 1985 as Thandi's Place Productions and incorporated as the YPCI in 1999, we have been conducting and collecting research worldwide on topics related to youth popular culture (particularly Hip-Hop culture), health and education. The YPCI has produced various communications products and special events targeting youth and families, and today is working to put all of its research into a format that is accessible and user-friendly to audiences who work with and/or for young people.

Founded by P. Thandi Hicks Harper, PhD and Billo Mahmood Harper (veteran producers, educators and communication specialists), the Institute's focus is to provide the research, resources, technical assistance and products required to improve the health and education status of America's most disadvantaged youth and to inform the nation of the value of young people and how they can assist in improving health and education related outcomes. Another prominent focus of the Institute is to produce educational entertainment products and to assist the public in their understanding of how research findings pertaining to youth popular culture, education, health and youth can be transformed into applied technologies, special events, programs and marketable communication products ensuring 100% access and 0 disparities.

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  • Studying, researching and staying on the cutting edge of issues pertaining to youth popular culture as it relates to, or can be related to, health, education and young people who are most vulnerable.
  • Developing state-of-the-art multimedia communication products (e.g., CD-ROM, video), providing technical assistance and spearheading projects which creatively and effectively use youth popular culture as the contextual backdrop for communicating with and to youth and families about health and education related issues via educational entertainment.
  • Working to establish the YPCI as the world's primary repository of information, research, products and resources that are relevant to youth, YPC, preventive health care, education and effective communication strategies targeting young people.
  • Increasing the YPC competence of health care professionals, educators, clergy, parents, community workers and others who target youth in order to improve their services and message delivery ensuring 100% access and 0 disparities in communities worldwide.
  • Establishing active public and private partnerships among entities that will aid in accomplishing YPCI's overall mission and goals.
  • Increasing under-served youth's knowledge of, use of, and access to comprehensive education, primary and preventive health care resources, and services associated with disparities related to smoking, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and other related problems.

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The YPCI nurtures a progressive corporate culture that mandates youth popular culture competence - crossing racial/ethnic boundaries. Satisfying clients beyond expectations and accountability in all pursuits are our preeminent concerns. Intellectual and creative freedom operate in an atmosphere of novelty and distinction, and quality/usable research, services and products are always the result.

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Conduct qualitative and quantitative research on relevant issues, pretest messages and materials, evaluate project outcomes and facilitate need assessments. Prepare research documents.

Message & Material Development
Research, write and design layout and packaging for educational entertainment multimedia products targeting youth and/or their families. Provide technical assistance in the development of culturally appropriate messages and materials, including video, CD-ROM and print products.

Presentations, Workshops and Training
Present research, conduct workshops and training for youth and adult audiences. Subjects include: Youth Popular Culture/Hip-Hop Culture; A Communication and Education-From Theory To Practice; Cultural Competence; Substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and smoking prevention communication; culturally appropriate pedagogy, messages and materials; motivating and reaching youth with health and education messages and media literacy. (Selected Topics)

Product Development and Selection
Provide technical assistance and creative support in the development and selection of appropriate messages, products and events for youth and adult audiences.

Multimedia Programs
Research, design, develop, write and creatively produce print, audio, video and CD-ROM interactive computer programs for desired communication effects.

Special Event Production
Conceptualize, design and produce special events/projects, concerts and stage shows for youth and adult audiences. Provide technical assistance for developing the talents of varied populations for special presentations (training, scripting, coordination of auditions & rehearsals etc.).

Special Event Technical Expertise
Creatively produce events using state-of-the-art communication technology (e.g., digital sound, lights, large screen and LCD Projection, interactive and nonlinear computer formats, multimedia design, video and film). Make recommendations for appropriate venues, entertainment, program designs, activities, stage designs/decor, ambiance and talent. Write scripts and provide direction for overall events.

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P. Thandi Hicks Harper, Ph.D., CEO, President (short bio)

Youth Popular Institute, Inc.
8906 Fox Park Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

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Theresa Brown- Petway
School Nurse, Prince George’s County

Edward Paul Burrough III
4.0 Student at Crossland High School & Student Member
of the Prince George’s County Bd. of Education

Arnetta Courtney
Program COMMISSIONED Corporate LIA at
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Heather Cronk
COO, New Organizing Institute

Larry Law
President, Larry Ink. LTD

Meilani Tom
Healthcare Marketing Consultant

Shiela Richardson, PhD
President, Community Services and Research Center

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© 2004 The Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
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