ILYASAH AL SHABAZZ, third daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, is an educator, activist, motivational speaker, and author of award winning publications such as: a coming of age memoir entitled, Growing Up X (Random House 2002); a children’s illustration book entitled, Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X (Simon & Schuster 2014), and a young adult historical fiction book entitled, X, A Novel (Candlewick Press 2015).
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.
Ilyasah produced training programs to encourage higher education sanctioned by the City University of New York’s Office of Academic Affairs. She served twelve years on the Executive Youth Board for the City of Mount Vernon’s Mayor Ernest Davis, including appointments as Director of Public Relations, Director of Public Affairs & Special Events, and later promoted to Director of Cultural Affairs.
Ilyasah has retraced her father’s footsteps to the Holy City of Mecca, explored religious and historical sites in both Egypt and Jordan as the guest of Princess Alia Hussein, participated in interfaith dialogue study programs under Rabbi Nancy Kreimer and Dr. Aziza Al Hibri, and Ilyasah has served as member of the American Interfaith Leadership delegation that participated with the Malaria No More Foundation in Mali, West Africa. Ilyasah also served as a member of the United States delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton to South Africa to commemorate election of President Nelson Mandela and the economic business development initiative.
Ilyasah is the recipient of numerous awards. Her latest book, X, A Novel, is the winner of a 2016 NAACP Image Award. The novel is also recognized by We Need Diverse Books with its Walter Dean Myers – Library of Congress Inaugural Award and the American Library Association with its Coretta Scott King Book Award.
Ilyasah serves as a Trustee for the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, and The Malcolm X Foundation. She is a member of the Arts Committee for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and a project advisor for the PBS award-winning Prince Among Slaves documentary.
Ilysah holds a Master of Science in Education & Human Resource Development from Fordham University; a Bachelors of Science in Biology from SUNY/New Paltz; and she is currently an adjunct professor at John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.
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