On Sept. 27 and 28, the Gainesville community will have a chance to hear Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, as she is in town for multiple speaking engagements. She is a woman who has embraced her roots and heritage, and has become a very successful and prominent person herself, leading a life dedicated to empowering young people by capitalizing on the arts and entertainment to encourage the understanding of history, culture and self-expression.
On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27, she will be speaking at the Downtown Public Library at 2:30 p.m. The following day, Monday the 28th, she will be speaking at the Ocora, which is the lobby area in Pugh Hall on the University of Florida campus. That talk will be at 3 p.m.
Ilyasah holds a Masters of Science in Education & Human Resource Development and a Bachelors of Science in Biology. As Assistant Coordinator for the Office of Academic Affairs – City University of New York, Ilyasah organized training programs to encourage higher education for inner city at-risk youth. She continues to mentor at various grouphomes, lock-up facilities, high schools, community organizations and college campuses through production of The WAKE-UP Tour™—her exclusive youth empowerment program. She is Honorary Co-Chair of All For Africa, a campaign that aims to plant 1 million oil palm trees on approximately 17,000 acres of land in Africa to knockout poverty. She is Trustee of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational, and Cultural Center, Inc. at the Audubon, the place of her father’s martyrdom in 1965. Ilyasah Al-Shabazz retraced her father’s footsteps to the Holy City of Mecca and to Cairo, Egypt. She explored religious and historical sites in Jordan as a guest of Her Royal Highness Princess Alia bint Al Hussein.
In the area of Government – for approximately twelve years Ilyasah served on the Executive Youth Board for the Office of the Mayor in the City of Mount Vernon. She also served as Director of Public Affairs & Special Events and was later promoted to Director of Cultural Affairs. She served as an official member of the United States Delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton on the historic tour of South Africa to commemorate the victory of newly elected President Nelson Mandela.
As Executive Producer Ilyasah produced a television pilot for 2009, SHARE the eXperience©, a compilation of in-studio and on-location interviews of leaders in Entertainment, Sports and Politics, as well as citizens making a difference in their communities. Ilyasah assisted Spike Lee during the film production of Malcolm X starring Denzel Washington and Angela Basset. The film won thirteen U.S. and international awards, including two Oscar Award nominations. Her first book, Growing Up X (Random House, 2002), has won critical acclaim by nomination of NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Literary Work and United Press International book of the week. Her second book, Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X (Simon Schuster, 2014) has just been released and already has 5 stars.
Ilyasah Al-Shabazz persists as a committed and compassionate community organizer, activist and author. Extensive travels to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the West Indies and throughout the United States inform her unique brand of lecturing about world history and culture to capacity audiences across the United States. “The example my parents set, both in and outside of our household, helped me to understand that we all have a specific purpose in life—to give back to society.”