Our Founder


Network Leader

Tomas Alvarez


Tomás is a leading social entrepreneur known for trailblazing work using Hip Hop Therapy to promote mental health and wellbeing among youth of color. He is a clinically trained social worker specializing in the strength-based therapeutic care of youth disenfranchised by traditional mental health systems. He is an Ashoka Fellow and recent SEERS Fellow through Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship. In 2015, Tomás was named a CNN Hero for his transformative work.

Mental Health Reimagined

Hip Hop Therapy


In 2004, Tomás pioneered one of the first Hip Hop Therapy programs to engage young men of color in therapy. He later served as the founding CEO of Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc. (BRL) where his vision and leadership helped to establish the organization as a prominent player in the field of Hip Hop Therapy.

In 2015, Tomás transitioned out of BRL to start the Hip Hop Therapy Global Institute (HHTGI) and focus his efforts on field-building projects that give rise to collective impact. In 2016, he joined the Children’s Wellbeing Initiative, a joint project between Ashoka Changemakers and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Tomás is based in Oakland, California where he lives with his wife and their silky terrier.

 

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