Ilyasah Shabazz And Dr. Betty Shabazz Keynote Speaker At Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Celebration

January 18, 2022

Professor and author Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz `71, will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

When New Jersey City University (NJCU) holds its 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The event, sponsored by NJCU’s Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center, will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, the event will now be held in a virtual format, rather than in-person on campus. Attendance is free by registering in advance at

Following the keynote remarks by Shabazz, there will be a question-and-answer session with the audience as she is interviewed by moderator Dr. Natoschia Scruggs, the director of the Hagan Center.

Shabazz’s mother, Dr. Betty Shabazz, is a distinguished alumna, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Health Education and School Nursing from NJCU, then known as Jersey City State College, in 1971.

Ilyasah Shabazz is an award-winning author, educator, and producer. She has authored five historical novels and has served as project advisor for the PBS award-winning documentary film, Prince Among Slaves.

She is co-chairperson of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

In her work to preserve the legacy of her parents, she has dedicated herself to institution building and intergenerational leadership development with the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ms. Shabazz has furthered her community impact with the City University of New York’s Office of Academic Affairs, where she created a curriculum to encourage higher education for underserved, inner-city high school dropouts.

She has worked with the Office of the Mayor in Mount Vernon as Director of Public Affairs & Special Events.

She founded and produced a young adult development program aiming to provide insight on social justice and encourage personal empowerment.

As president and founder of Ilyasah Shabazz Enterprises, she produces a variety of forums dedicated to power, possibility, and sovereignty.

Ms. Shabazz is a member of the Soar Higher Cabinet Committee for the State University of New York at New Paltz; a member of the Advisory Council for the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition; a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; and serves as a Trustee for the Harlem Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Shabazz holds a Master of Science in Education and Human Resource Development from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from SUNY-New Paltz.

Currently, she is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where she teaches Perspectives on Justice in the Africana World.

Grounded in the commitments of her parents, Ms. Shabazz emphasizes empowerment and inclusion in her teaching and scholarship.


New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning with an audacious goal: the development of our students, our city, our communities, our state, and the world beyond.

We are a game-changing force for our students and their families. Whether our students are enrolled in one of our 50 undergraduate, 28 graduate or three doctoral programs, NJCU provides an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty—all of which prepares them to be critical thinkers in a global landscape.

We’re also changing the game for our city, our communities, and our state. As the educational anchor institution in Jersey City, we’ve established partnerships to ensure the area’s growth directly benefits our students and community members.

We seek to improve the lives of everyone in the Garden State, whether creating a home for the arts, bringing educational programs to K-12 students, offering bachelor’s degrees in partnership with community colleges, or providing professional development opportunities for adults.

At NJCU, we’re not just educating minds, we’re nourishing souls and lifting communities. We’re changing the game.

Photo credit: Malcolm X in Harlem.

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