Arts Leadership Award Program

Representing Alameda County Supervisorial District Five —

Rob Jackson of Oakland, is a founder and the executive director of Beats, Rhymes and Life in Oakland. Rob is a passionate community leader, educator, and multi-faceted artist. Rob is dedicated to creating a community-based organization that identifies strategies to address socioeconomic injustices and mental health disparities. Beats, Rhymes and Life pioneered one of the first hip hop therapy programs as an innovative and pragmatic approach to transform and uplift the lives of at-promise youth. With over twenty years of experience working in the social services field and coming from a family of therapists, Rob combines his abilities with extensive clinical insights to facilitate transformation on an individual, community, and systemic level. As a talented hip hop artist, he brings a unique perspective in integrating the worlds of mental health and urban culture to effectively serve marginalized youth throughout the Bay Area. Rob is an Oakland native and actively involved in the multicultural community. Through hip hop, he has given voice to the most vulnerable youth who face mental health issues and have not responded to traditional therapy. Travelling across the state and the country, he has trained more than 1,000 health care professionals to provide music therapy and has shown that the true power of art resides in all of us.