Khadijah Salawu is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist, producer, writer, designer and community organizer. She works as Head of Development at Emancipation Arts an award-winning multi-platform production company committed to bringing grassroots stories to the world stage. Khadijah is also the Artistic Director of FreeUp!, a festival of arts and activism led by young people to celebrate Emancipation Day – you can stream last year’s annual Emancipation Day event “FreeUp!” on CBC Gem. Her eclectic body of work includes writings about memories, nostalgia, and the elements; scores for theatre and your commute; and URL and IRL multi-sensory and immersive installations. She holds a HBA in Drama, Theatre and Performance from the University of Toronto, a Graduate Certificate in Creative Book Publishing from Humber, two Certificates in DJ and Beatmaking and in Graphic Design and Web Development at UforChange and is an Arts Educator at Soulpepper Theatre and St. James Town Community Arts.
Khadijah runs a weekly health and wellness initiative called Run Regent in Regent Park which she created in 2015. Her commitment to promote community and healthy living in Regent Park was recognized at UofT’s Black Graduation (2018) where Khadijah won the Angela James Award for Excellence and Outstanding Athletic Achievement. Alongside Run Regent, Khadijah has curated Ain’t I A Woman. I Am A Man (Design Exchange, 2017) and Lost in Translation (Artscape Yongeplace, 2016). The former recounts the history, family, celebration, hope, trauma, desire, and love within the soul and body of the youth in the Black diaspora through their visual and poetic work while the latter was a multi-disciplinary performance event that explores the diaspora experience of youth in Toronto.
Khadijah is the Founder and Editor of The African Diaspora Literature and Performance Toolkit, a forthcoming online adaptable list of resources that provides examples about African diasporic literature and performing arts with a focus in African-Canadian creation. It is designed to be used by high school english and drama teachers in their classrooms.