Human Rights Activist, Lecturer, Author and
Daughter of Malcolm X
“When you educate a girl, you raise a nation,” says ILYASAH SHABAZZ. She is an inspirational role model and advocate for 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 an educator, activist, motivational 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 recently won the 2016 NAACP Image Award, We Need Diverse Books’ Walter Dean Myers – Library of Congress Inaugural Award and the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Book Award. Her latest book is The Awakening of Malcolm X: A Novel.
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 for the City University of New York’s Office of Academic Affairs. She also served twelve years in the City of Mount Vernon where she was raised on the Executive Youth Board, including appointments as Director of Public Relations, Director of Public Affairs & Special Events, and Director of Cultural Affairs. She mentored for Nile Rogers’ We Are Family Foundation, also at various group homes, lock-up facilities, high schools and college campuses through her exclusive production of The Wake-UP Tour™.
Ilyasah retraced her father’s footsteps to the Holy City of Mecca, explored religious and historical sites in 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 served as member of the American Interfaith Leadership delegation that participated with 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 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 PBS award-winning Prince Among Slaves documentary.
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 for Criminal Justice in New York City.
Malcolm X Shabazz: The Legacy of My Father
Ilyasah Shabazz was just two years old when she witnessed her father, Malcolm X, being gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. And yet, the lessons that he and her mother, Dr. Betty Shabazz, taught her remain today. She was raised understanding the importance of education. The importance of history. The importance of humanity. The importance of leadership. The importance of self-reliance. The importance of love. That she is her brother and sister’s keeper, to be her best self so she can give her best to her community and society. In this compelling presentation, Shabazz, an award-winning author, educator and producer, will share powerful stories of what she learned from her iconic activist parents and how we can still come together, demand change and keep fighting for justice in Malcolm’s name.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How do we ensure that the student activism witnessed during a global pandemic and after the demise of George Floyd not only continues but also makes an impact around the world? Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of the late Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, believes you can look back at the historical legacy of her mother and father to find inspirational solutions. In her keynote presentation, Shabazz, an award-winning author, educator and producer, will share powerful stories of what she learned from her iconic activist parents and how you too can make the diverse world more equitable and inclusive for all. These are stories about courage, compassion, purpose and leadership. It’s about how you can turn a movement into a reality for both today and generations to come.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Corporate Edition
In today’s world, diversity, equity and inclusion are more critical than ever, whether in the workplace, our communities, or society as a whole. And no one knows it better than Ilyasah Shabazz. As the third daughter of the late Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, she knows how powerful these three core values are. This award-winning author, educator and producer will share her unique story, talk about the legacy of her parents and inspire you to do so much more. She will show you how the challenges we have today are the challenges we had 55-plus years ago, and how we can begin to fix them by instilling specific and necessary values for future generations. A powerful storyteller, Shabazz will inspire you to do more and be more, so that every American is encouraged and has the opportunity to call this country their own.
Positively You!: Education Edition
Empowering the next generation to succeed and help others is no easy feat. But Ilyasah Shabazz has never given up on this goal. She believes education and learning to stay positive are key to reaching these milestones. And she should know. The third daughter of the late Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, she was taught from an early age that these attributes are critical to success—for students and, in the long run, the world’s environment. This award-winning author, educator and producer will inspire teachers, parents, students and communities to be the best they can be, so they give their best to others and society. She provides insight into the power of positivity and shares her own experiences growing up surrounded by love, determination and the legacy of her father. “All of us start off as children and evolve into what adults teach us,” she says. “It’s our responsibility as adults to instill specific values in our children, so they can go on and become a reflection of our best selves and do wonderful and responsible deeds like Malcolm X did.”
Positively You!: Corporate Edition
What makes a better person, employee or leader? For Ilyasah Shabazz, it’s all about the power of hope, enlightenment and a willingness to help others. In her inspiring keynote, she’ll share the importance of self-worth, self-love, purpose and accountability, and how establishing core values can improve careers, companies and communities in today’s ever-changing world. As the third daughter of the late Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, this award-winning author, educator and producer provides unique insight. She grew up hearing firsthand stories of her father and his powerful legacy. Add that to witnessing her mother’s courage, compassion and wisdom. You find a person who has impacted thousands with her lifework’s willingness to help others find their inner strength, capacity and purpose. This keynote will empower you to be your best self, so you can give back your best and allow your company to thrive in today’s ever-changing society.
"It has been over a year and students, faculty, and staff still talk about Ilyasah Shabazz's visit to Montgomery College. Whether she discussed the enormous contributions of both her parents, her own accomplishments as a writer and educator, or contemporary events, Ms. Shabazz captivated the hundreds of students who were in attendance. What I still hear from faculty and students is their appreciation that Ms. Shabazz took the time to meet individually with so many. I am quite certain that at a school like ours that is so diverse, Ms. Shabazz's words of encouragement, especially to our African American female students, will have a long lasting impact. I am so thankful for the opportunity to bring Ms. Shabazz to Montgomery College and give my students an experience of a lifetime."
- | Montgomery College
"llyasah's visit was a joy. Those who came to the event are still talking about how powerful she is in her own right. There is already talk of bringing her back."
- | Indiana University South Bend