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Aug 09

Meet the Women of 7Adinkras

the women

We are the Women of 7Adinkras Creative Media — Akanke, Yanik, Nadirah, and Sandra — working collectively to do our creative thing.  Combining our creative talents and visions, we see a future of wonderful possibilities for the creative expression of all women, and we move forward with hope, faith, excitement and ambition.

Akanke Tiamoyo Abdul-Khaaliq

akanke tiamoyo abdul khaaliqAkanke is the Executive Director and Senior Producer for 7Adinkras.  As an Atlanta-based television and radio producer, she has produced, co-produced and hosted a variety of progressive community-based programs since 1991.  She produced and hosted two live television talk shows, The Africentric Agenda and Creating Empowerment, which aired on community cable stations in Atlanta.  She has interviewed a variety of captivating guests known locally and internationally for their culturally-enriching and scholarly contributions.   In addition to her credits as a television producer, Akanke has been a television host for several programs and has also played acting roles in short films and corporate videos, works as voiceover talent.

In 2003, Akanke's interest turned towards documentary production.  Her focus now is to help bring 7Adinkras projects to completion.  Additionally, she and her husband Nashid Abdul_khaaliq, are producing Miracle in America: African Americans, Islam and the First Experience which is a documentary and oral history project.  She also hopes to adapt these projects into radio documentaries in the future.

Akanke’s other areas of interest include media advocacy and visual anthropology, the use of film as a medium to study people and culture.   She envisions traveling throughout Africa and the Middle East to produce historical documentaries on culture and religion.  She would also like to work with other media professionals to offer interactive media literacy workshops to middle and high school students in which they learn about the power and influence of media and the importance of being conscious consumers and being aware of the impact media consumption has on their lives and society.       

Akanke’s production experience is complemented by a degree in Communication from Georgia  State  University where she studied film, television and cultural anthropology.  She is also a senior graphic designer and abstract visual artist.  She currently resides with her husband in the Middle East.

Visit her website to find out what else she's doing.

Nadirah Z. Sabir

nadirah sabirNadirah joined 7Adinkras in August 2005 to pursue more creative expressions in a supportive, empowering environment. The native New Yorker and global citizen brings with her more than a decade of print and online journalism experience.

Most recently she was an award-winning online editor and columnist at The Atlanta Journal Constitution/ajc.com in Atlanta, Ga. During her eight-year stint there, she was responsible for designing and producing channels; coordinating story development; and writing her award-winning reported column tagged, “The Adventures of a Muslim Woman in Atlanta.” In it Nadirah tackled both local and international issues including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, polygamy, and a four-part, multimedia series about her trip to Kenya, East Africa, in 2000.

Whether it’s career advice to journalism students, analysis of world events, culture or religion, Nadirah is a seasoned public speaker. Her appearances include CNN, WXIA-Atlanta, WBLS-Atlanta, Georgia State Bar Association, Clark University, Georgia State University, National Black Arts Festival and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

Her work garnered a 2004 Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) award for her compilation of columns. The previous year she won honors for her poignant feature, "Journey from Ground Zero," an intimate profile of three Muslim Americans involved in the evacuation and other emergency efforts in New York during 9.11. That year she won another prize for an online news project, a six-part series titled: "State of Muslims in America, " which also garnered a national nod in 2002 from CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations).

Prior to joining the Atlanta staff, she worked at Black Enterprise and Money magazines in New York.

Nadirah’s more creative bent has been explored through world travel and crewing on several independent film projects including the TV movie “Nandi” (Script supervisor, 1998); trailer “Oreo” (Assistant Art Director, 1995); and trailer “He Aint Heavy” (Extra and Production Assistant, 1994).

Just before joining 7Adinkras, she kicked off her midlife crisis a decade or so early. She left her job, sold her home and prepared to move to West Africa to pursue her love of travel and be more creatively expressed – preferably in a midsize convertible and matching Harley. She did succeed in leaving the security of her job and selling her home in Stone Mountain. Today she lives in Smyrna, Georgia, still enroute to her self, her balance, her possibilities and driving her blessing of an Oldsmobile Alero.

The multimedia producer’s current projects include the 2005 Women and Power conference in New York (post production) and the World Pilgrims multifaith group trip to Jerusalem (post production). She is co-editing the 7Adinkras anthology “Daddy’s Girl.” And she’s working on her an autobiographical book of essays tentatively titled: “A Provision of Vanities.”

She continues to contribute to several publications and wire services including Azizah magazine, Black Enterprise magazine, Upscale magazine, The Associated Press and more.

In November 2005, Nadirah will actually get to West Africa – as part of a group of journalists visiting four African nations. Look out for her pieces in December editions of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Atlanta and the World.

Juicy tidbits, little-mentioned facts and conundrums that have surfaced in this year of outer stillness and inner revolution:

I grew up playing the violin cause my elementary school didn’t have guitars. Later I became a majorette (gold sequins, flaming baton, sub-zero weather et. al.) cause a few folk in my family felt my Tom Boy stage needed neutering. Observation: Though the adults in my childhood were sometimes off base, my inner child never led me astray. But in my need to please the ones around me, I sometimes chose not to stand up for the little, wise one in me.

My mother did name me Nadirah, but she had first named me Tjitana (Cha-THA-nah). Just when I had mastered how to spell it, she changed her mind. Question: Can a woman’s prerogative sometimes go too far?

One of the most insulting questions I’ve ever been asked but have made my peace with: “Which one was your mother?” Answer: “His wife.”

Catch you on the blog.

Sandra Yee

sandra yeeSandra joined 7Adinkras in September 2004 to return to her first love: writing – what she has longed to do since learning to type on her mother’s gray Olivetti at the age of seven.  Like many women, she wandered and wondered along many detours before awakening to the dream that slept in her heart.

Born to a long line of Chinese peasants in Phoenix , Arizona , Sandra grew up a stellar honor student.  She confounded her family when she chose to major in art at the University of Arizona and, upon graduation, abandoned art, and began working her way around the world.

Her family wondered from where she had inherited her wanderlust, as her ancestors had taken such great pains to leave (or escape) China and instill the values of security, safety, sparing-ness, and self-denial in their offspring.  But off she went to Western Europe, then China, then Southeast Asia, then the Middle East, collecting tales of language barriers, financial woes, post-youth crises, career disappointments, sexual harassment, and betrayals of intimacy that she surely could have experienced all at home in the air-conditioned comforts of Phoenix , AZ , USA.

The sudden illness and passing of her father shook dear Sandra out of her cynicism and selfishness and led her into the field of natural medicine.  Under private tutelage of world-renowned masters, she received a Doctorate in Complementary Medicine, specializing in acupuncture and homeopathy.  (“Acupuncture!?” her grandparents cried.  “No one uses that old stuff anymore!”)

Combining her love of wellness coaching and writing, Sandra inspires individuals to take greater responsibility for their physical and emotional health through her twice-monthly e-newsletter Hang-On’s E-Tips for Self-Health.  Her writings on natural healthcare also appear in several local and regional publications, including The Life Line, New Life Journal, and the Complementary Alternative Medical Association’s online journal Choices.  Her creative non-fiction recently appeared in the national anthology: Aunties: 35 Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother, published by Ballantine Books in Spring 2004.  Another of her essays will be included in the inspirational book Journey to a Blissful Life, to be published by BET Books in 2005.

Sandra recently wrote and completed her first documentary.  This touching short centers on the dynamics in her Chinese American family and her 80-year-old grandmother, and is always an audience favorite at screenings

Visit Sandra's blog to find out what she's doing.

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