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  • Jeff Chang

Executive Director

The executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University, Jeff Chang is continuing his long career specializing in culture, politics, music and the arts. Named by the Utne Reader as “one of the 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” Jeff Chang has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree from U.C Berkley and a master’s degree in Asian American Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, helping launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. He has helped produce over a dozen records, including the “godfathers of gangsta rap”, the Watts Prophets.

In terms of writings and publications, Jeff was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine, a Senior Editor/Director at Russell Simmons’ 360hiphop.com; and has written for publications such as The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe, Foreign Policy, and Mother Jones, among many others. He covered the 2000 presidential elections for 360hiphop and interviewed Barack Obama in 2007 for the cover of Vibe. His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. In addition to being the editor of “Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop,” his current projects include  3 new books: Who We Be: The Colorization of America (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), Youth (Picador Big Ideas/Small Books series), and a biography of Bruce Lee (Little, Brown).

Jeff has lectured at dozens of colleges, universities, festivals, and institutions in the U.S. and around the world. He was an organizer of the inaugural National Hip-Hop Political Convention and has served as a board member for several organizations working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts, and hip-hop activism.

Born of Chinese and Native Hawaiian ancestry, Jeff was raised in Hawai’i where he attended ‘Iolani School. He lives in California. He is a big fan of Japanese curry and poi - but not at the same time.