Cristina Verán is an international journalist, historian and educator who has documented global cultural phenomena and socio-political movements extensively. Her work has featured in a wide range of media, including The Village Voice, Vibe Magazine, Colorlines, Ms. Magazine, The Witness, Oneworld, The Source, and many others.
Ms. Verán’s extensive documentation of hip-hop culture—from its Bronx beginnings to its vibrant and diverse global incarnations—confirm her as a singular authority on the movement whose own personal story has been intertwined throughout. Predating professional life, her teen years begat an inspired tenure as a rap artist, and she has been a proud member of the genre-defining artists collectives TC5, the Rock Steady Crew and Zulu Nation. Her history of pioneering female rap artists in the 1970s and '80s leads the book Hip Hop Divas and another, on the evolution of hip-hop dance forms, features in Vibe History of Hip Hop, among other notable volumes. She also served as editor for the special 1996 edition of Rap Pages magazine devoted to hip-hop dance around the world, which remains a coveted collectors item among enthusiasts worldwide.
Issues, movements and initiatives concerning the world's indigenous peoples comprise a particular area of her research and specialization. As a United Nations media correspondent, she has featured on-air as interviewer and panelist for the news-roundtable television program World Chronicle, and as a member of the Indigenous Media Network. Additionally, as a philanthropy consultant, she has directed related research initiatives for The Ford Foundation and its international Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Relating to hip-hop, she continues to document the culture’s fervent embrace by indigenous youth, from the Americas to Africa, the Arctic and Oceania— notably, the usage of rap music as a tool to promote renewed interest and fluency in indigenous languages.
Ms. Verán guest-lectures frequently at universities and cultural institutions, and develops specialized curricula and workshops on media making and cross-cultural communication for programs serving urban, immigrant and indigenous youth at schools, libraries and social service agencies, both in the U.S. and abroad.Raised and residing in New York, where she earned her degree in Media Studies at Hunter College [City University of New York], Ms. Verán is originally from Lima, Peru.