damali ayo is a writer, performance artist and comedian. She is the author of the critically acclaimed How to Rent a Negro (2005) and the creator of National Day of Panhandling for Reparations, a synchronized nationwide annual street performance.
ayo was born and raised in Washington D.C. and graduated from Brown University focusing on American civilization and public policy/American institutions. ayo has worked as a professional diversity trainer, prison activities director, team leader, program developer and camp director, but chose to become an artist as an effective means of achieving progress. Regularly lecturing and performing around the United States, ayo has also created several pieces for air on Public Radio International. Her work and opinion has been featured in Harper’s, the Wall Street Journal, Time.com, ABCNews.com, National Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Salon.com, VillageVoice.com, Redbook, C-SPAN and various international publications.
In 2005 she went face to face with Bill O’Reilly and offered no consolation for his confessions about his racist grandmother. She lives in Los Angeles. Further information on damali ayo can be found at www.damaliayo.com.