Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Master of Arts, May 2010
Specialization: Hip-Hop as a Tool for Media, Education, and Social Change
Martha Diaz is a community organizer, educator, multimedia producer, curator, archivist, and social entrepreneur. She has been dedicated to innovating communities, advancing social justice, and developing leaders through Hip-Hop culture. Martha has consulted for MTV, Hakuhodo Agency, SONY, Americans for the Arts, UNESCO, Black Filmmaker Foundation, International Music Council, University of Wisconsin, and UN-HABITAT.
In 2002, Martha founded the Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival, and subsequently developed the Hip-Hop Education Summit and Hip-Hop Association. She is the co-Creator/Editor of the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook Series, the first ever book of its kind to offer an array of innovative, interdisciplinary standards-referenced lessons written by teachers for teachers.
In 2008, Martha created the Womanhood Learning Project and developed the Ladies First Fund, the premier grant for women in Hip-Hop dedicated to fostering the next generation of social entrepreneurs. She is currently completing the resource book entitled, Fresh, Bold and So Def: Women In Hip-Hop Changing The Game, which will feature a directory of 365 international artist, activists, and entrepreneurs. In 2009, Martha launched H2ONewsreel, an educational Hip-Hop media distribution label, in partnership with Third World Newsreel. Martha later teamed up with Dr. Pedro Noguera at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at NYU to form the premier Hip-Hop Education Center for Research, Evaluation, and Training. After completing her Master's at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study, Martha plans to pursue a Ph.D. to continue researching the global impact of Hip-Hop Social Entrepreneurs.
In addition to receiving the Catherine B. Reynolds Fellowship, Martha is the recipient of the Black Lily Emerging Leader Award, Mary Chung Nia Award, Union Square Arts Award, and the DJ Kool Herc Award. She was selected to be an iFOCUS Institute We Media Fellow; a semi-finalist for the NYU Stern Entrepreneurs Challenge Social Venture Competition; and panelist speaker at the US State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. Martha is one of Womens e-News distinguished 21 Leaders of the 21st Century for 2010 and she has been celebrated by Lifetime's Remarkable Woman campaign.