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Hurston/Wright Foundation names new Executive Director

We are pleased to share that the Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation has named Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D. as its next Executive Director following an extensive national search led by Good Insight, a national executive search firm for nonprofits. Dr. Ali-Coleman succeeds interim executive director Neil Stanley Henriques, and will begin her new role on December 6th.

“Khadijah brings the ideal combination of passion and experience to lead the artistic growth and the expansion of this organization,” said Audrey Hipkins, Chair of the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Khadijah’s work as a writer and scholar, combined with her roles as both founder and director of nonprofit organizations, makes her uniquely qualified to continue our work serving Black writers and bringing equity to the literary landscape.”

“I’ve long admired the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s commitment to elevating Black voices,” said Khadijah Ali-Coleman. “I’m honored and excited to join the Board and staff in the next chapter of work in support of emerging and established Black writers.” 

About Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D.

Khadijah Ali-Coleman currently serves as Director of Education and Community Engagement at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). MCM is an independent, nonprofit organization providing Montgomery County, MD residents, non-profit organizations, and businesses access to hyperlocal news content and media training opportunities.

A playwright, Dr. Ali-Coleman’s work has been presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Theater Alliance, and Baltimore Theater Project. She is author of the children’s book Mariah’s Maracas and co-editor of the forthcoming book HomeschoolingBlack Children in the US: Theory, Practice and Popular Culture (IAP, 2022). Her work is featured in numerous print and digital publications, including the book anthology The Fire Inside: Collected Stories and Poems from Zora’s Den (ZD, 2020) and the academic text Afro-Futurism in Black Panther: Gender, Identity and the Remaking of Blackness (Rowan & Littlefield, 2021). 

Dr. Ali-Coleman served as the 2020 Scholar-in-Residence at Prince George’s County African American Museumand 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. She is founder of the multidisciplinary arts group Liberated Muse and co-founder 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. 

About the Hurston / Wright Foundation

The Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation was founded in 1990 in Washington, D.C. with the mission of discovering, mentoring, and honoring Black writers. Through workshops, master classes and readings, the organization supports the voices of Black writers in the world literary canon, serves as a community for writers, and continues a tradition of literary excellence in storytelling established by its namesakes. The Hurston/Wright Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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