Tonight I attended the ‘In Conversation with Ilyasah Shabazz’ event, organised by the ICV via Variety Victoria.
A touching welcome to country from Aunty Monica opened the evening speaking to white Australia’s undisputed black history.
Next, inspirational speaker and daughter of MalcolmX, Ilyasah, delivered a keynote address rich with personal insights about her life, her father and her vision for a more inclusive society.
Following a short break, a conversation style interview occurred between Ilyasah and Eugenia Flynn, accompanied later by Dr Jamal Watson.
Despite Ilyasah’s evident fatigue as the evening wore on, she graciously acknowledged respect for her host and impressed upon the audience to collaborate with each other to make the change they wanted to see in society – to combat stereotypes, education paradigms, racism , sexism and Islamaphobia.
Overall this was a worthwhile event, made possible by the efforts of ICV volunteers and staff – kudos to them.
My take away from the night, was acknowledging this strong black feminist Muslim woman, embrace her identity fearlessly and convey the power of that.
The legacy of her father, while significant , did not define Ilyasah. She demonstrated a grace and intelligence borne of a plethora of academic and community activism achievements in her repertoire.
Her emphasis on the ethic of education being paramount from home and beyond, was inspired by her mother, Dr Betty El Shabazz.
This entrepreneur, youth leader, activist and author, while perhaps biologically predisposed to greatness, demonstrated a role model to many. Her ability to create a stir in the social justice movement on account of her education and vision, was gratifying to learn. Her calls to instigate change by ‘doing’ and not ‘clicking’, was gold.