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Abena Sankofa Imhotep
CEO, Author, Speaker, Educator




Abena Sankofa Imhotep is an award-winning author, scholar, and activist whose work celebrates Africana, challenges historical narratives, and advocates for a just world.

As the CEO of Sankofa Literary & Empowerment Group, Abena’s mission is two-fold: to create spaces for lifelong learning that center the literature and scholarship of Black authors and to work toward a world where all children love to read.


Leading conversations on human rights, racial equity, and organizational awareness for various institutions, Abena has presented human rights papers on social impact & responsibility and strategies for achieving racial justice at the Nelson Institute Global Citizen Forum, the Iowa Human Rights Research Conference, and University of Notre Dame Kroc Institute.

A dynamic orator who speaks with eloquence and clarity, Abena was selected to be the final commencement speaker at the historic Iowa Wesleyan University, led interdisciplinary think-tank sessions of high-level intellectuals from across the country, and graced the TEDx stage. She has received numerous honors including the American Red Cross Diversity Equity & Inclusion Award, African American Leadership Academy Fellowship, NAACP Accomplished Entrepreneur Award, Top Ten Iowa Book of the Year, and the prestigious Iowa Author Award.


Abena provides literacy support to emerging readers and works to expand children’s access to diverse books through her youth initiative, Sankofa Literary Academy. Her debut children's book, Omari's Big Tree and the Mighty Djembe, has received international recognition with distribution in 29 countries.



     Rooted in the depths of my scholarship and the literature of Black scholars, I am driven by an unwavering determination to create spaces that serve as catalysts for empowerment and equity.

     Humanitarianism fuels my work, as I recognize the interconnectedness of all humanity. I believe in the inherent worth and potential of every person and I endeavor to use my platform to advocate for meaningful change that uplifts the most vulnerable among us.

     At the heart of my mission lies a dedication to literacy. I believe that access to education and the ability to articulate one's experiences are fundamental rights that must be safeguarded. By encouraging a love for reading and writing, we can empower others to find their voices and meet the moment.

     I embrace radical imagination and optimistic intensity as I strive to leave an indelible mark on the world, paving the way for a future where justice, equity, and literacy are accessible to all.



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