Aisha Fukushima is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism) a global hip hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging oppression with expression. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman whose work is influenced by her global upbringing with roots spanning from her birthplace of Seattle, Washington to her other hometown of Yokohama, Japan.
As a leader of the ‘RAPtivism’ project, Fukushima has done solidarity building work through hip-hop from the United States and to France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Belarus, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured by Oprah Magazine, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, among others.
As a vocalist, Fukushima’s musical sound consists of an unparalleled style blending soulful melodies, poetic lyricism, looping and beatboxing. In 2012, Fukushima released her global “RAPtivism” (rap activism) compilation album featuring more than 20 leading political hip hop acts from around the world including Black Noise (South Africa), Positive Black Soul (Senegal) and DJ Noize (Denmark). Additionally she has been featured on a number of albums including MAD lines’ “MAD Habits” (2012), Street Poet Inc.’s “Origins” (2012), Ras K’dee’s “Cloudwriter” (2011) and Emile YX?’s “Conscious Rhymes for Unconscious Times” (2010). She has also shared the stage with the likes of Dead Prez, KRS-One, Afrika Bambaataa, Jasiri X, Boots Riley, Oum, Amadou & Mariam, and Ursula Rucker.
As a public speaker, Fukushima combines the art of performance and lecture. In her speeches she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism with live musical performance. She was the first non-Native person to deliver a keynote address at Montana’s 2012 Schools of Promise Conference for Indigenous youth and has presented at such diverse venues as Stanford University, the National Conference On Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) conferences, UMass Amherst, TEDxSitka, TEDxWhitman, TEDxUWCCR, Rock The School Bells, Osaka University, among others.
Over the last 8 years, Fukushima’s passion for empowering young people through the performing arts has led her to build educational programs such as Turn Off The Stereotypes (2005), Whitman Institute of Summer Enrichment (2006) and SISTARZ, an all-girls hip hop club (2012). She has also been honored with a number of prestigious fellowships from institutions such as Duke University’s Ralph Bunche Institute of Summer Enrichment, Humanity in Action’s European Program (The Netherlands) and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. Further, in 2014 World Trust named Fukushima their “Love In Action” awardee for Global Hip Hop Leadership.
Fukushima holds an honors degree in Rhetoric and Film Studies from Whitman College (2009) with minors in French Literature and Gender Studies. She currently lives in the San Francisco, and when she is not in the Bay Area she can often be found immersed in Copenhagen, Denmark’s dynamic hip hop scene. Fukushima is fluent in French and is building proficiency in Japanese, Arabic and Wolof.