“When you educate a young man, you educate a community. When you educate a young woman, you raise a nation,” says Ilyasah Shabazz. She is an inspirational role model and advocate for youth and women and girl empowerment. Her lifework is devoted to helping others find inner strength and purpose. While she is frequently asked to speak about the legacy of Malcolm X, she shares that it is her mother Dr. Betty Shabazz's wisdom, courage and compassion that guide her.
Ilyasah is a professor, social activist, community organizer, speaker and author of three award-winning publications: Growing Up X (Random House 2002) a coming of age memoir; Malcolm Little (Simon & Schuster 2014) a children’s illustration book, and X, A Novel (Candlewick Press 2015) a young adult historical fiction, which won 2016 NAACP Image Award, We Need Diverse Books’ Walter Dean Myers – Library of Congress Inaugural Award and American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Book Honor, among several others.
Ilyasah promotes higher education for at-risk youth, interfaith dialogue to build bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world, and she participates on international humanitarian delegations. She served as a member of the U.S. Delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton to South Africa to commemorate election of President Nelson Mandela and the Education & Economic Business Development initiative and with the U.S. Interfaith Leadership Delegation to Mali, West Africa with the Malaria No More initiative.
She holds a Master of Science in Education & Human Resource Development from Fordham University; a Bachelors of Science in Biology from SUNY/New Paltz; and is currently an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
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