Evan Okun '13 began rapping in Bennett Park, across the street from his apartment in Washington Heights, Manhattan. While at Wesleyan his interest in rap merged with a growing passion for spoken word poetry. He taught a class on hip-hop at a juvenile detention center near Wesleyan. He is interested in how music can cultivate critical thinking and be used to reengage students who have a dysfunctional relationship with school. Evan is a founder of The Freestyle Collective, a freestyle rap group backed by six-piece band. Freestyle ciphers are one of several expressive genres explored in the class. Evan uses written work to examine societal injustice and Buddhist philosophy.