Martha Diaz is a community organizer, media producer, archivist, curator, mentor, and educator. Diaz is one of Women’s eNews distinguished 21 Leaders for the 21st Century whose work has traversed the hip-hop entertainment industry, the public arts sector, and the academy over the last 25 years. Diaz has worked in Hollywood and on independent movie productions creating short films, TV shows, documentaries, and music videos. As an educator, she has taught middle and high school students in Harlem and the Bronx and was an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School. Diaz founded, produced and co-curated the Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival and Hip-Hop Education Summit in 2002. 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 ( 2007) and Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip Hop and Punk (2015). Diaz has served as a Fellow at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation – National Museum of American History, Curator/Scholar at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Community Scholar at Columbia University, and The Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University. She was the Associate Producer of Nas: Time Is Illmatic film, which opened Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 and is presently working as co-Producer of the Untitled, Tupac Shakur documentary. Diaz was invited to curate 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. She sits on the advisory board of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, and the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and Museum. Diaz is currently the New School Creation Fellow at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education where she is co-designing the first online hip-hop high school.
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 television and film Production from Fairleigh Dickinson University.