Biography

Martha Diaz is an award winning community organizer, social entrepreneur, media producer, archivist, curator, mentor, and educator, who for twenty-five years has traversed between the hip-hop entertainment industry, public sector and academia. She has worked in Hollywood and independent movie productions, producing short films, TV shows, documentaries, music videos, and PSA’s. As an educator, she taught middle and high school students in Harlem and the Bronx, and for four years was a part-time professor at New York University’s Gallatin School. Diaz founded, produced and curated the Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival and Hip-Hop Education Summit, and has been the executive director of the community building organization Hip-Hop Association since 2004. In 2010, Diaz formed the Hip-Hop Education Center to cultivate and formalize the field of hip-hop-based education. She has published research papers on hip-hop education and is co-editor of the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. I (Hip-Hop Association, 2007) and Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip-Hop and Punk (Information Age Publishing, 2015). Among her fellowships and residencies, Diaz served as a resident of NJ Performing Arts Center’s Alternate Routes Program, Fellow at NYU’s Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship, Fellow at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation – National Museum of American History, resident Hip-Hop Scholar/Curator at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Columbia University Community Scholar. She has been a guest curator at the Museum of the Moving Image and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Cornell Hip-Hop Collection advisory board and Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. Some of her archival projects include working with Ralph McDaniels (Video Music Box), James Top (Graffiti TV,) and Parkwood Entertainment (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter). She is the associate producer on the Nas: Time Is Illmatic documentary, and  is currently working on the Untitled, Tupac Shakur documentary with Steve McQueen. Diaz is completing an appointment as a Hiphop Archive Research Institute and Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University.

Diaz earned an M.A. in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; M.A. in Hip-Hop Social Entrepreneurship from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study; and B.A. in Communications with a minor in TV and Film Production from Fairleigh Dickinson University.