Ilyasah Shabazz (pronounced ILL-YAH-SAH SHA-BOZZ) leads a life dedicated to four passions: 1) the continued growth and understanding of her family legacy; 2) developing educational programs which foster self-empowerment regardless of life experience; 3) expanding the role of government to teach individual responsibility for improving society; and 4) capitalizing on the arts & entertainment to encourage the understanding of history, culture, and self-expression.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, Ms. Shabazz is working to convey a message of self-empowerment to future generations. She is presently implementing The WAKE-UP Tour ™, her exclusive program for empowering our Nation’s youth. She is corporation president and Board Member of The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, Inc. at The Audubon, the place of her father’s martyrdom in 1965. Inspired by her father’s Legacy to embrace a rich heritage—and nurtured by her mother’s unending perseverance and strength, Ms. Shabazz is indeed a compassionate humanitarian, author, and lecturer.
In the field of Education, Ms. Shabazz was led to the post of Assistant Coordinator for the Office of Academic Affairs - City University of New York, where she organized training programs to encourage higher education for inner-city at-risk youth. Her most prized project includes an interactive youth publication entitled, “The Way We Feel.” Ms. Shabazz has both tutored and mentored at various academic institutions and lock-up facilities. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Education & Human Resource Development and a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology.
In the area of Government, Ms. Shabazz served on the Executive Youth Board for the City of Mount Vernon, New York and is presently the Director of Arts & Culture. She further served as an official member of the United States Delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton on the historic tour of South Africa in Johannesburg, Soweto, and Capetown. And, Ms. Shabazz was a member of the American Interfaith Leadership Delegation that toured Mali, West Africa to implement Malaria No More.
Hajja Ilyasah Al Shabazz has also retraced her father’s footsteps to the Holy City of Mecca for the pilgrimage, and to the pyramids and Sphinx of Ghizeh (PRONOUNCED GHI – ZAY) in Cairo, Egypt. She further explored religious and historical sites in Jordan as a guest of Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Hussein. Extensive travels to Africa, the “Middle East”, Europe, the West Indies and throughout the United States, inform Ms. Shabazz’ unique brand of lecturing about world history and culture as she teaches capacity audiences on campuses across the United States.
With a diverse career in the Entertainment Industry, Ms. Shabazz has held many diverse positions. As Executive Producer she has just completed a lifestyle television pilot entitled, The Xperience . Ms. Shabazz also worked for 40 Acres + a Mule Filmworks during the filming of X as an assistant technical advisor and production assistant.
Ms. Shabazz’ book, Growing Up X: A Coming-of-Age Memoir has been heralded by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as, “. . . a clear impression of Black family values as any ever written, reflecting the pride of a child who knows she was ‘raised right’.” Harvard Professor Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint described, . . . Growing Up X as [a personal picture] that helps [the reader] see Malcolm X and his family free from the typical media highlight of his so-called violent rhetoric.” Heart & Soul Magazine wrote “. . . it is a heartwarming story into the world of a daughter whose father would be proud.” Maya Angelou praised Ms. Shabazz for “ . . . the courage to remember, the courage to see, and the courage to say what she saw.” Johnnie Cochran affirmed, “ . . . it is a must read.” And Spike Lee concluded, “ Growing Up X is destined to become a classic.”
Growing Up X has won: (1) The BET.com Best Book List; (2) The Essence Magazine #3 Best Seller List; (3) The NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Non-Fiction Literary Work; and (4) The United Press International Book of the Week.
“The example my parents set, both in and outside of our household, helped me understand that we all have a specific purpose in life—to give back to society.”
–Hajja Ilyasah Al Shabazz