A fantastic stage is set for the beginning of the International Physical Literacy Conference (IPLC) 2023. After a day of optional pre-conference workshops, the conference itself will kick off in style at the New Yorker Hotel, with Hip Hop Public Health providing the keynote and hosting the opening reception on the evening of May 2. Hip Hop Public Health works with internationally-recognized hip hop artists to create research-based educational resources by harnessing the power of music, art and science to promote healthy behaviours, health literacy and health equity.

Delegates will be welcomed by NYRR CEO Rob Simmelkjaer and Sport for Life CEO Richard Way. Hip Hop Public Health Founder and Board Chair Dr. Olajide Williams and Executive Director and CEO Lori Rose Benson will deliver a dynamic keynote address, bringing to life the science and art behind Hip Hop Public Health’s innovative approach to creating resources that educate and inspire, and demonstrating the power of music to help young people build their physical and health literacy.

Williams, Founder and Board Chair at Hip Hop Public Health, is a world-renowned leader in community-based behavioural intervention research,  health disparities and behaviour change in communities of colour. He is a tenured professor and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a clinical neurologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He is also co-director of the Columbia Wellness Center. He is the principal investigator of multiple large National Institute of Health investigator-initiated awards, has served on national panels on health disparities, has authored and co-authored several books and scholarly articles, and is a member of various prestigious boards and committees dedicated to advancing health literacy and health equity.

Benson, Executive Director and CEO at Hip Hop Public Health, has worked in the public health and education sectors for over 25 years. Before joining Hip Hop Public Health, she served as Vice President of Healthy Lifestyles at the YMCA of Greater New York, where she was the principal architect of the award-winning Y-MVP Teen Fitness Challenges, an innovative program blending fun fitness activities with an interactive app designed to recognize, reward and motivate NYC youth to increase activity. She was the founding Executive Director of the Office of School Wellness Programs at New York City’s Department of Education, orchestrating curriculum, assessment and professional learning initiatives to revitalize health and physical education for 1.1 million students in 1,600 public schools.

IPLC is all about walking the talk and putting theory to practice – following the keynote address, a DJ and choreographers will lead a brief and engaging active session to get the blood flowing and the neurons firing, based on Hip Hop Public Health’s H.Y.P.E. Breakin’ It Down resources – a collection of fifty two-minute hip hop-based physical activity instructional videos designed to get people of all ages energized and motivated to move. The reception will also have bar service available with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Delegates will have a couple of hours to mingle and network at the New Yorker as part of the reception. Meet and hangout with presenters and attendees alike. A list of off-site establishments will be provided for delegates to visit following the reception, should they so desire.

If you haven’t registered for IPLC, you can register here. The conference takes place May 2-5 in New York City. Learn more about the pre-conference workshops here. To view the program and book accommodation, visit www.sportforlife.ca/iplc.

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