2 Chainz, Rosario Dawson celebrate youth vote at Hip Hop Ball

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The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network PHILANTHROPIK hosted the event as a celebration of the hip-hop community’s role in the election and “promoting political awareness.” All proceeds from the black-tie charity ball will be donated to PHILANTHROPIK,a nonprofit that supports programs that inspire young people to be involved in community service.

By connecting to America’s youth, music helped “give a voice to the voiceless,” said Terrence J, an actor, entrepreneur and "E! News" co-host.

“When you look at politics as a whole — the country as a whole — pop has always been a voice for those without a voice. It’s always spoken for those in socially and economically-deprived areas.”

On the red carpet, rapper 2 Chainz agreed. Standing at 6 feet, 5 inches and in a tuxedo and bow tie, he said he was excited to be in Washington for the celebration.

“Once you get a certain stature, you should use that platform to help lift,” he says. “I tried to use my story to try and help other people’s lives.”

And while “Sin City” super-star Rosario Dawson acknowledged the celebration behind the second inauguration, she said activists were prepared for upcoming policy challenges — including efforts on education and student loans, gun control, mental illness and creating opportunities for high-skilled job growth.

“I’m looking forward to the people not just disappearing ... and holding people’s feet to the fire,” she said. “This is what we voted for and this is what we want.”

Dawson attended the ball as the founder of Voto Latino, a nonprofit organization that empowers Hispanics to vote and encourages them to take part in the policy debate.

On Sunday, she said she’s heard the Obama administration is ready to “hit the ground running,” praising the president for being “able to multi-task.”

As for running for office, Dawson says she much prefers her job on the sidelines.

“I don’t really like running, you know, I get shin splints,” she said with a laugh.



Rosario Dawson at the Hip Hop ball