The former middle school teacher is used to being on a different side of playground politics. After graduating from Brown University, Diggs returned to his native Oakland, California, to teach poetry and acting classes, and he developed a popular rap curriculum for seventh-grade students in the Bay Area. “It was cool,” he says. “I got to teach these rap classes in tandem with the curriculum that was happening anyway.” Diggs saw the effects immediately.

“The awesome and equally tragic thing is that all of those kids are old enough to form complicated opinions about things, and nobody cares what they have to say,” he says. “It was nice to give them a place to read something they had written and the audience—the rest of the class—wasn’t allowed to leave.” - [x]