Jeff Chang

Journalist and Cultural Critic

The executive director of Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts, Jeff Chang has had a long career focused on culture, politics, music and the arts. Named “one of the 50 visionaries who are changing your world” by the Utne Reader, Jeff has been a USA Ford Fellow in literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and a master’s degree in Asian American studies from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential indie hip-hop label SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, helping launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. He has helped produce over a dozen records, including discs from the “godfathers of gangsta rap,” the Watts Prophets.

Jeff was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine and a senior editor/director at Russell Simmons’ He has written for Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, the Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and Vibe, among other publications. He covered the 2000 presidential election for 360hiphop and interviewed Barack Obama in 2007 for the cover of Vibe.

His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He edited Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, and his current projects include Who We Be: The Colorization of America, Youth and a biography of Bruce Lee.

Jeff has lectured at dozens of colleges, universities, festivals and institutions in the U.S. and around the world. He helped organize the inaugural National Hip-Hop Political Convention and has served as a board member for several organizations working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts and hip-hop activism.

Of Chinese and Native Hawaiian ancestry, Jeff was raised in Hawaii, where he attended ‘Iolani School. He lives in California. He is a big fan of Japanese curry and poi — but not at the same time.

Twitter handle: 

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good