Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D. is a cultural curator, community organizer, nationally recognized speaker, and writer. A playwright, she has had more than a dozen of her plays presented publicly in venues throughout the country, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Theater Alliance, and Baltimore Theater Project. She was a Theater Alliance Quadrant Playwright from 2019-2021, a 2019 Fulbright-Hays scholar, a 2015 Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artist awardee and a 2012 Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund Forty Under 40 awardee.
She is author of the children’s book Mariah’s Maracas and co-editor of the book Homeschooling Black Children in the US: Theory, Practice and Popular Culture. Her work is featured in the anthology The Fire Inside: Collected Stories and Poems from Zora’s Den (ZD, 2020) and the book Afro-Futurism in Black Panther: Gender, Identity and the Remaking of Blackness (Rowan & Littlefield, 2021).
As a performer, presenter and curator of performance,educational, literary and visual arts programming, Dr. Ali-Coleman has worked with or presented her work at the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center, the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum, Anacostia Arts Center, The Potter's House DC, Alice's Jazz Society, the DC Public Library System, The United States Peace Corps and more. She is founder of the multidisciplinary arts company Liberated Muse Arts Group and founding director of the education research group Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars (BFHES).
Dr. Ali-Coleman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (African American Studies and Mass Media) and a minor in Writing from the University of Maryland Baltimore, County; a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Towson University and a doctorate in education from Morgan State University.
"We cannot create what we can't imagine"
From 2011 until the COVID-19 global quarantine in 2020, Dr. Ali-Coleman served as teaching faculty, teaching Communication Studies and Fine and Performing Arts courses at area community colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, Northern Virginia Community College, Prince George's Community College, Community College of Baltimore County, Morgan State University and Montgomery College. She won numerous grant awards for her work as an instructor, including a 2015 Prince George's Community College Foundation Impact Grant which allowed her to implement the Mid-Atlantic Communication and Media Arts conference. This led to her later creating the brand StudentMediaOnline.com.
Teaching Artist, Curator & Scholar
Dr. Ali-Coleman served from 2019-2020 Scholar-in-Residence at Prince George’s County African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) where she also served as a teaching artist. She curated and presented her family history and that of four other families through the exhibit Flying Towards Freedom during her time at PGAAMCC.
As a teaching artist, she worked with students at Annapolis Road Academy Alternative High School. Annapolis Road Academy is one of two alternative academy programs in Prince George's County, MD with a primary focus on students in grades 9 through 10 who are experiencing behavioral and attendance concerns in the regular classroom setting. Dr. Ali-Coleman used a multi-disciplinary approach with the students, teaching the history of the Piscataway native people of Maryland and the Guinea people of Africa and their early existence in Maryland during colonial times. Using the drum as a centerpiece for learning and arts creation, she led the children in activities centered on identity, culture and communication, executed through designing drums and crafting spoken word pieces. She also facilitated a tribal drum workshop for families in the museum during the Kwanzaa season.
As an educator, she has created and led educational programs for over 20 years at numerous organizations, currently serving as the Executive Director of The Hurston Wright Foundation, she previously served as the Director of Education and Community Engagement for Montgomery Community Media (MCM). At MCM, within 15 months, she coordinated the development of the organization's virtual media training curriculum, broadened grant-funded programs and led efforts to create and sustain community educational partnerships. Highlights include the development of the MCM Youth Media Academy and a media mentorship program serving seniors 55 years-old and older.
Homeschooling Research & Community Work
Dr. Ali-Coleman has been homeschooling her own daughter off and on for 13 years in addition to being a researcher on homeschooling in the Black community. Her doctoral dissertation research was published in 2020 and is titled, Dual Enrolled African American Homeschooled Students' Perceptions of Preparedness for Community College. She crafted a short film about her homeschooling experience and her research that was featured in the 5th annual Black Sustainability Summit. Click the button below to watch.