Tasleem Jamila Firdausee is an internationally award-winning poet, playwright, spiritual life coach, cultural curator, multidisciplinary artist, interdisciplinary scholar, Thurgood Marshall Fellow, and IMAN Creative Cypher Artist Fellow. Through heart-centered storytelling, Tasleem explores the intersections of culture, spirituality, and indigenous holistic healing modalities. Firdausee serves as the CEO of the My Soul Speaks Institute, holds the role of Executive Director for the Art As Sacred Initiative, and hosts the Art As Sacred podcast. Tasleem has authored three books: "From Mississippi Clay to African Skies in Search of Sacred Presence," "Black Baptist Muslim Mystic: From the Cosmos," and "The Women's Guide to Holistic Healing." Her performances, lectures, and seminars have graced distinguished venues, including The Kennedy Center, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Her talents have been showcased across the United States and in countries like Ghana, Canada, Senegal, England, South Africa, and Malaysia.
In addition to her literary achievements, Tasleem is known for her innovative events, such as the "Supreme Self Love Project" and "I Am a Queen," which empower women through performance, meditation, dhikr (chanting), visuals, sound baths, and installations. Her latest book, "From Mississippi Clay to African Skies in Search of Sacred Presence," has garnered excellent reviews and is utilized in classrooms. Her latest album, "Activated," collaborating with world-renowned producers (Professor Griff, Reginald R. Robinson, and Aki Dawson), and her play, "Portals Open," has been featured in renowned festivals.
When you engage with Tasleem Jamila Firdausee's artistic work, you witness a practice that transcends conventional boundaries, challenging the distinctions often made between various fields, approaches, and schools of thought. Tasleem's artistry and scholarship have been brewing over her lifetime. It is profoundly shaped by her background as the daughter of a community organizer and spiritual mentor, a healer with intuitive abilities, her Chicago roots, and her role as a trailblazer for her family's heritage in Mississippi and Alabama. Her upbringing is intricately woven into her twenty-five years of experience as an arts educator, arts-integrated curriculum developer with Chicago Public Schools, Kalamazoo County Schools, public libraries, and numerous community organizations and universities nationwide, an advocate for change, a poet, singer, playwright/actor, and a fashion designer, all while being a community organizer. She naturally blurs these boundaries to create spaces for profound thought and imagination, encompassing emotional, physical, and spiritual dimensions. Her extensive practice opens up gateways and opportunities for constructing new worlds and envisioning the future while embodying holistic healing principles, Sufism, womanism, Afro-futurism, and the wisdom of her wise elders and ancestors.
Tasleem is an artist-activist known for commissioned poetry contributions to organizations like The Cancer Society of Chicago and the Peace in Streets Campaign. She has also globally hosted holistic artist retreats. Her achievements span radio hosting, media features ABCNews, Chicago Tribune, NPR, BBC, and multiple collaborative projects. Tasleem has a master's degree in Spirituality, Culture, and Health and numerous certifications, including yoga, reiki, meditation/breathwork, and sound healing. She's pursuing a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with research focused on Black women and healing, Sufism, Black Muslims in the US, Decolonization and religion in the African Diaspora.