Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Master of Arts, May 2010
Martha Diaz is a community organizer, media producer, archivist, curator, social entrepreneur, and an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Gallatin School. Diaz has been dedicated to innovating communities, advancing social justice and human rights, cultivating leaders and artists, and mentoring youth for 20 years.
Her imprint for success can be traced back to her days as an aspiring production assistant for the late Ted Demme, the seminal TV and film producer/director behind Yo! MTV Raps. Diaz's extensive production experience working with groundbreaking directors, producers and artists, and her aptitude of coming up with fresh ideas and solutions, has helped land her the role of casting/talent director, creative producer, associate producer, and documentary consultant on commercials, music videos, magazine/edutainment shows, documentaries, and multimedia web projects. Diaz has worked with MTV, The Hakuhodo Agency, African Heritage Network, Americans for the Arts, 88HipHop, Source-All-Access, Black Filmmaker Foundation, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, SONY, and PBS.
Diaz produced and directed, H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey, a short documentary on the evolution and global impact of the multiple elements of Hip-Hop culture. Executive Produced by the RZA, founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, H2O was screened at numerous Hip-Hop events, film festivals and educational institutions. In 2002, Diaz formed the H2O International Film Festival, and subsequently, developed the H2Ed [Hip-Hop Education] Summit and the non-profit Hip-Hop Association [H2A].
For ten years, Diaz served as president and executive director of the award winning H2A. She launched H2ONewsreel, the first Hip-Hop media distribution label dedicated to the education field in collaboration with Third World Newsreel. Diaz co-edited the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. I and Fresh, Bold, and So Def: Women in Hip-Hop Changing The Game. As a resident of NJPAC's Alternate Routes Residency Program, Diaz developed the Ladies First Fund, the first micro-grant for women social entrepreneurs. As a Graduate student at NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study, she founded the Hip-Hop Education Center, in partnership with NYU's Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Diaz has been invited to curate, moderate, lecture, and facilitate workshops at numerous conferences and global forums. She is the recipient of the Black Lily Emerging Leader Award, Union Square Arts Award, Mary Chung NIA Award, and the Kool Herc Award. In 2010, Diaz was selected as one of Women's eNews distinguished 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and was featured in Lifetime's Remarkable Woman campaign. In 2012, Diaz became the first Hip-Hop Scholar-In-Residence at The Schomburg Center for Black Research, a NY Public Library.