Nia Malika Dixon

My Specialties: Writer, Director, Producer. Also, Mom, Wife, and Wonder Woman.

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Who are you?

A native of Baltimore, MD, I’m a former school teacher who has written professionally for nearly two decades including articles for national magazines, a published novel, short stories, blogs, two volumes of poetry, and several screenplays. I studied directing under the tutelage of famed director Lilyan Chauvin, until the time of Lilyan’s death in 2008. Shortly thereafter, I began studying acting with Tony Award winning actor and teacher, Kent Klineman. I’m currently mentored by director Catherine Hardwicke, (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown, and Twilight) and recently completed several writing assignments for Morgan Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.

After completing the short film, City In the Sea, shot on location in Venice, California, I shot the award-winning web series/short film, Chrysalis, in my hometown Baltimore and I’m now preparing to shoot my first feature film in the Spring of 2015, an adaptation of Umm Zakiyyah’s award-winning novel, If I Should Speak.

I’m the mother of two teenagers (one in college and one in high school) with special needs, including a son with Autism. I’m finishing a novel, and planning to publish my first inspirational book, The Tao Of Nia: The Way of Purpose on my 40th birthday, September 20, 2014. I’m also in the middle of planning my waleemah to my husband, and business partner, cinematographer Antar Hanif, in November 2013.
My Specialties: Writer, Director, Producer. Also, Mom, Wife, and Wonder Woman.

Give us your favorite quote and tell us why it means so much to you:

“That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.”

― Rumi

Rumi is a kindred spirit. His quotes could literally tell the story of my life. This one is most poignant, because it sums up my existence. I exist only because God breathed my purpose into my heart, and I bloom.

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.”
― Rumi

This one sums up my personality!

Islamic Perspective

What Ayah of the Quran do you hold close to your heart? Why?
That’s difficult! I would say Ayat ul Kursi because it is a clear, concise, yet beautiful way to sum up Allah in His completeness to us. It’s also the ayah that protects us from Shaytan. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been reciting it before I go to sleep every night.

What Hadith do you wish more non-Muslims knew about? Why? 
The Hadith where the Prophet tells us what Islam is based upon, the five principles, is the one I wish more non-Muslims knew because too many people do not know what Islam is, and that tells in plain language, clearly, and without any room for “interpretation.” (And, by “interpretation” I mean adding any personal addendums and extras.)

The Ten:

1. What is your favorite book? 
The Noble Qur’an has always been my favorite book. To quote Amir Sulaiman, “Life is complex, Allah wrote a ‘How-To’.” Every time I read it, I unlock new meaning and it ignites me.

2. Who inspires/inspired you? 
Ever since I’ve been conscious, my mother has been my inspiration, and she is the most consistent human being in my life, ever. Along with her, my grandfather has always been my biggest source of motivation to do well and he continues to do so even after his death nearly ten years ago. But, my deepest wellspring of inspiration has and always will be my best friend: God. Sometimes, when I think I’m at the end of my rope and hanging on by the thinnest of thin, silk threads, Allah places a feeling in my soul that reinforces the strength of that thread until it’s the thickest, strongest rope that I’m climbing swiftly to reach a higher height.

3. What is the best lesson your mother/mother figure taught you? 
All of the lessons my mother taught (and continues to teach me) are the best lessons, but if I had to highlight one that stands out in my mind today, I’d say the lesson of being patient and resilient has the most impact. When I was little, I’d always thought of myself as my mother’s protector; and I would’ve gone into battle for her in an instant. When I watched her weather the storms of other people’s mistreatment of her, I became a little soldier: the fiery, hot-tempered Achilles. However, over the years I’ve seen how my mother’s encouragement for even-temperance and patience wins out, because it allows a person to assess a situation from an advantageous perspective unclouded by rash emotions. She literally outclasses everyone. My mother encourages me to be more Muhammad Ali, less Mike Tyson, and I’m still learning that.

4. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
“Calm down.” I wouldn’t listen, though. I know myself!

5. What are your hopes for your daughter(s)?
To kick ass. And take names.

6. What is the biggest trial you went through in your life and how has that changed you?
Pick one. Honestly, my little life has been a battle. I’ve endured abuses, poverty, illnesses, discrimination, etc. and each trial that God has taken me through has made me smarter, tougher, and more compassionate. I’m grateful for that.

7. Any regrets? What’s something that you wish you’d thought about more before you did it?
I don’t really regret anything. Everything that I’ve done in my life was thought out, prayed about, and a conscious decision was made to do it. The only thing I wish I’d had more insight into, was marrying my first husband. I was eighteen, and I was making the decision with limited knowledge and experience. My first marriage was one of those battles I alluded to in the previous question, and there are three good things that I gained from that difficult experience: my daughter, my son, and the wisdom I gained from enduring the years of trials and tribulations in an abusive marriage.

8. How do you stay grounded in your work and/or spiritually grounded? 
To stay spiritually grounded, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. To stay grounded in my work, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

9. How do you bring about real change? 
Actually do stuff. Ideas are wonderful, but action is the only thing that will bring about change. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

10. What do you hope to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as that black, Muslim woman named Nia Malika Dixon, who profoundly changed the way people think about the world.

Video Message from Nia:

More about Nia:

http://www.youtube.com/user/1AudazHeart
https://www.facebook.com/niamalikadixon
https://www.facebook.com/TheTaoOfNia
https://vimeo.com/niamalikadixon
http://www.niamalikadixon.com
http://www.taoofnia.wordpress.com

Check out Nia’s Intro to Vengeful Crowdfunding Campaign:

http://youtu.be/0Sw6mCwzGfk

Find me on Instagram:

@FilmmakerNia

@TheTaoOfNia

@NiaMalikaDixon