Talibah Atiya-Najee Aquil has a rich and varied background using the arts as a vehicle for social change. She graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and earned her Masters in Conflict Transformation at The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Whether in performances, community organizing, or teaching and facilitating, Talibah cultivates spaces for trauma healing and transforming conflicts that exist both within self and within communities. Ms Aquil has facilitated Restorative Justice Circle Practices centered around racial healing and presented her masters thesis as an arts-based independent research project “Ghana, Remember Me,” which uses poetry, dance and music to speak to healing historical trauma within the African Diaspora community.
Talibah is also a lecturer at The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU, where she created a course entitled “Re-imagining Identity” that examines the intersections of identity, story-telling, dignity, and the arts; in this course she created safe spaces for student-teachers to explore the complexities of identity as it relates to oneself and others. Ms. Aquil also works as Project Coordinator/Communications Specialist at the Furious Flower Poetry Center at JMU, the nations’ first academic center dedicated to educate, celebrate, and preserve African-American Poetry.