About the Editors:
Martha Diaz is a community organizer, media producer, archivist, social entrepreneur, and Adjunct Professor at New York University. Diaz has been dedicated to innovating communities, advancing social justice, cultivating leaders and artists, and mentoring youth for nearly 20 years. Her intuition 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 production experience working with groundbreaking directors, producers and artists helped her develop her aptitude of coming up with fresh ideas, developing talent and producing socially conscious and educational content with Hip-Hop artists. Diaz has worked with MTV, The Hakuhodo Agency, Americans for the Arts, BFF Lab, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, SONY and PBS. In 2002, Diaz launched the H2O International Film Festival, and subsequently, developed the H2Ed [Hip-Hop Education] Summit as a NY Teaching Fellow, and the non-profit Hip-Hop Association [H2A]. For seven years, Diaz served as president and executive director of the award winning H2A. She co-edited with Marcella Runell Hall the highly acclaimed Hip-Hop Education Guidebook, Vol. I, Hip-Hop Association Press (2007). In 2008, she developed the Womanhood Learning Project, as an intervention strategy to empower women in Hip-Hop through research, panel discussions, training, and the creation of the Fresh, Bold, and So Def: Women in Hip-Hop Changing The Game resource book. As a resident of NJPAC’s Alternate Routes Residency Program, Diaz added another component, the Ladies First Fund, the first micro-grant for women social entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. In 2009, as an NYU Gallatin Graduate student and a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow, she founded the Hip-Hop Education Center for Research, Evaluation and Training, in partnership with Dr. Pedro Noguera, renowned Urban Sociologist and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Behavior. 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.
Dr. Irma McClaurin
Like Zora Neale Hurston, Irma McClaurin is an African America worked professionally as an anthropologists and published writer. This blended background makes her well-suited to analyze Hurston’s works from an anthropological perspective and separate what in Hurston’s work should be credited to the literary and what derives from her anthropological training. Currently, McClaurin is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D in Anthropology in September, 1993. She has an MFA in English (1976), and is the author of Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America , Rutgers University Press (1996), and three books of poetry, Pearl’s Song, Lotus Press (1988), Song in the Night , Pearl Press (1974), and Black Chicago, Amuru Rannick Press (1971). Her poetry has appeared in over 16 magazines and anthologies and she has chapters in the following books: Ginsburg and Tsing (eds), Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture (1990) and Shenk (ed) Gender and Race through Education and Political Activism: the Legacy of Sylvia Helen Forman (1995). She has written book and film reviews for the following journals: Radical History Review, Gender & Society, Americas, American Anthropologist. McClaurin is presently the General Editor for the Association of Black Anthropologists and the Editor of their journal, Transforming Anthropology. She sits on the Editorial Board of Feminist Studies, the Executive Board of the Association of Feminist Anthropologists and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Humanities Council.
Dr. Rachel Raimist
Dr. Rachel Raimist is a filmmaker who most enjoys documentary storytelling, but has also worked extensively in narrative fiction filmmaking, music videos, and live event videography. Her primary research interests are in the study of women in film, feminist filmmaking, hip-hop feminisms, and digital storytelling. She is the director of Nobody Knows My Name, the first documentary about women in hip hop, co-editor of Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology, and is one of the founding curators of B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, MN. Raimist’s award-winning films have screened at festivals such as South By Southwest, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, San Jose Cinequest and Women in the Director’s Chair, and on international television outlets. She was born and raised in the quiet, upstate New York town of Middletown, to a Puerto Rican mother and a father of Russian Jewish descent. She earned her B.A. in Film and Television at The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and continued on to earn her M.F.A. in Film Production/Directing. She spent several years working in the independent documentary scene, big budget narrative features, commercials, music videos, print magazines, a clothing company and even in music marketing and promotions. After all those years working in the industry, she needed to decompress and understand, so she moved to Minnesota to pursue a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Upon graduation, the department named the computer lab that she conceived and built in the department, The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of media production in the Department of Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama, where she teaches Advanced Videography, Digital Storytelling, Senior Capstone Media Production Workshop, and Producing & Directing Music Videos.