Dr. Shabazz likens the transformative journey of the butterfly to her own life of challenges, resilience, vulnerability and change. Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, Shabazz found hope of a brighter future through her love of reading and education. At 18 years old she started college as a single-parent helping to shatter the stereotype of the uneducated teenage mother and later becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree – a B.S. in Psychology. Realizing her continued passion for education and desire to work with students just like her, she earned a MS and Ph.D. in Higher Education through Indiana University. Her dissertation, "Black women, White Campus: Students living through invisibility explores the challenges and triumphs of African American women in college.
Shabazz’s 15 year career in higher education began working with first-generation students and evolved into designing and implementing programming to increase the retention and graduation rates of students of color. At Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Dr. Shabazz created the Diversity Enrichment & Achievement Program that used a holistic approach – addressing personal, academic, and social barriers to achievement. The program’s success has been heralded as one that holds students accountable while providing a community for them to thrive in.In 2014, Dr. Shabazz became the second director of the IUPUI Multicultural Center spearheading the efforts to promote the value of diversity, broaden multicultural awareness, and advance cultural competence among students, faculty and the community. In addition to leading the Center, Dr. Shabazz teaches courses on diversity and multiculturalism in Africana Studies, Criminal Justice and University College. Shabazz’s accomplishments have been recognized widely having been awarded the prestigious Alvin S. Bynum Mentor Award, Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Olive Greene Humanitarian Award to name a few. The best reward however, comes in the success and gratitude of students she has worked with who still remain in touch and affectionately refer to her as "mom" or "Dr. K".
In addition to her university service, Shabazz is the Founder of Student African American Sisterhood National, Inc. (SAAS); a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of young women of color in the educational pipeline. Through transparency and selflessness, Shabazz travels and shares her story in hopes to inspire others to push through their barriers. She also conducts cultural competency workshops for organizations, high school administrators & educators, and colleges.Dr. Shabazz balances her work life with her commitment to her wonderful family as she and her husband (Jamil) have a blended family of 7 daughters, ages 13-22. When not spending time with them, she enjoys cooking, reading, travelling, shopping and uplifting the tenants of scholarship, sisterhood and service as a proud member and legacy of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.