Tina Fakhrid-Deen has worked in higher education, Federal TRIO Programs, alternative schools, social services, arts education, and college prep programs. She is a professor of English, author, playwright, actress, life and education consultant, and proud LGBTQ family activist. In 2018, she won the Ray Hartstein Award for Outstanding Professional Excellence in Teaching for a full-time faculty member at Oakton Community College where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Tina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech (Oral Interpretation/Performance Studies), a Master’s in Education (with an emphasis on Multicultural/Urban Education and Educational Policy) and an MFA in Creative Writing and Black Literature.
Her play, Powerless Gods, was produced at Oakton Community College in spring 2018. Powerless Gods was a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwriting Festival (2019) and O’Neill Playwriting Conference (2016/2018). And in 2021, she wrote and directed her first children’s podcast play, Sankofa, for the Chicago Children’s Theater and wrote a short play, Snow Black, for Rivendell Theatre in their 8:46 Breathing Room Project. Her play, Pulled Punches, was developed through the Women’s Theatre Alliance of Chicago and premiered in 2022 at the Greenhouse Theater. Tina is a finalist for Definition Theater’s Amplify Two Series for her play, Black Bone. Tina’s play, Dandelions, received a 2020 commission for Theater on the Lake: In the Works and will premiere in spring 2023.
Having grown up with a gay parent, Tina started the Chicago Chapter of COLAGE which she volunteer coordinated for seven years. Out of this experience, her first book was born. In 2010, Tina completed Let’s Get This Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents (Seal Press). As a result of her activism, Tina won the Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Award (2003) and COLAGE’s Outstanding Achievement Award (2010).
Tina is finishing her first young adult novel, Where Pumas Go. She is a 2020 MacDowell Fellow, 2018 Kimbilio Fellow and VONA Fellow in Fiction and Playwriting (2011, 2017). Her essays, cultural commentary, and poetry have been published in anthologies and media outlets such as Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, Sometimes Rhythm, Sometimes Blues: Young African-Americans on Love, Relationships, Sex, and the Search for Mr. Right, My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions From Black Daughters To Their Fathers, Homegirls Make Some Noise: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology, Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, The Root, NPR: Eight-Forty-Eight, News One/Amtrak, and The Laura Berman Show on Oprah Radio. She has also written and/or edited for Jet Magazine, Just For Us, Melanin Magazine, Mosaic, Project Oakton’s Voices, Venus Magazine, the Not For Tourists Guide to Chicago, Tidal Basin Review, and Scott Foresman. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Illinois and The Dramatists Guild. Tina is represented by Promote Talent Agency is a company member of MPAACT.
She lives with her beautiful husband and extraordinary daughters in the heart of Chicago. A true Chicagoan, Tina craves Italian Ices (with lupini beans) and the magnificent lakefront which looks more like an ocean. She’s a fiend for Nutella & raspberry crepes, white cake icing, and traveling to places where they don’t speak English, but not necessarily in that order. At any given moment, challenge her to a dance battle or an old school hip-hop battle and you will surely lose.
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