J.C. Hall, LMSW is an artist and social worker who runs the Hip-Hop Therapy Studio program at Mott Haven Community High School, a “second-chance” transfer school in the South Bronx, which is both the birthplace of Hip-Hop culture and the poorest congressional district in the country. In 2013, starting in an old storage room, J.C. built a state-of-the-art recording studio to provide youth the opportunity to engage in the therapeutic process through writing, recording, and performing their own music. The origins of the program are chronicled in the award-winning short documentary by Kyle Morrison, Mott Haven, which showcases the usefulness of Hip-Hop therapy in addressing trauma and grief in the wake of a school tragedy.

Over the years, the significant effect program participation has had on students’ academic achievement and socioemotional development has led to the studio more than doubling in size and investment. In addition to running the program daily, J.C. advocates for the use of Hip-Hop therapy in his writings, in the press and at professional conferences internationally. J.C. has also developed a website to honor his late mentor Dr. Edgar Tyson, the originator of Hip-Hop Therapy, with the hopes of it serving as a centralized resource for those interested in learning about the approach.