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Colombian-American futurist Martha Diaz (MD) is an award-winning community organiser, media producer, archivist, curator, educator, and social entrepreneur. One of Women’s eNews distinguished 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, she has traversed the Hip Hop entertainment industry, the public arts and education sector, and the academy over the last 25 years. Her passion is advancing human rights and transforming communities through Hip Hop culture, media, and technology. MD has produced and consulted on numerous Hip Hop media projects and founded the highly acclaimed Hip Hop Odyssey (H2O) International Film Festival, the first festival of its kind.
She curated the first Hip Hop movie series presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served as a guest curator at the Museum of the Moving Image and Schomburg Center. Through her publications of research reports, books, and curricula, she has chronicled Hip Hop history to preserve its cultural value and memory. A graduate of New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, MD has worked on archival projects with Parkwood Entertainment (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), Tupac Shakur Estate, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and Paley Center for Media, to name a few.
In 2010, MD launched the Hip Hop Education Center for Research, Evaluation, and Training at New York University and most recently developed Hip Hop CU (CommUniversity), a virtual microschool. MD was a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History – Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Fellow at Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship, A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholar at Columbia University, and Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University. She is currently a Senior Civic Media Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and serves as Chair of Archives, Curatorial, and Educational Affairs at the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Archiving History In Your Own Backyard
Hip-Hop is the new kid on the museum block but we’re not wasting any time educating our babies about their legacy. Archiving History In Your Backyard is a curriculum designed by the Hip-Hop Education Center using The Universal Hip Hop Museum’s digital collection and multimedia timeline to bring awareness and encourage history-making.