Is a professor of professional practice and former chair of Columbia University's Graduate Film Program. He is the Executive Artistic Director of New Heritage Theater and Films in Harlem.
Jamal credits his time spent in the Black Panther Party and nine years in State and Federal Prisons as the fire the forged his creative sword. While in prison he earned two college degrees, wrote five plays, two volumes of poetry and founded a ground breaking theater company that brought prisoners together who previously been divided by race, culture and beliefs.
His directing credits include Drive By: A love Story" and "Da Zone" for Black Starz, "Hip Hop In the Promised Land" for Comedy Central and "Hughes Dream Harlem: for PBS. His writing credits include "Knights of The South Bronx" for A&E, "The Many Trials of Tommy B" for Nickelodeon, and "Ali: American Hero" for FOX.
Jamal is the co founder and executive artistic director of Impact Repertory Theater - A Harlem Based leadership training and performing arts organization that has trained and mentored over 1,000 Harlem teens. Several hundred Impact members have gone on to colleges and graduate programs that include Ivy League Schools and historically Black Colleges. Impact has performed its original music, drama, poetry and dance across the nation at venues that include the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center and the Kodak Theater at the 2008 Academy Awards.
Jamal was named one of the top twelve African American New York educators in the Daily News Black History Month issue. He has been featured in the New York Times, ABC's Night line, ESPN's "One Night in Vegas" BET's "American Gangster", VH1'S "Lords of the Revolution" and HBO's Def Poetry Jam.
He has lectured and performed around the country in venues raging from Fisk and Harvard Universities to the Apollo Theater and Lincoln Center.
Jamal's awards include a Cine Golden Eagle, a National Black program Consortium Prized Pieces Award, a Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Award, a Union Square Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and N.A.A.C.P leadership award and a best song Oscar nomination for his work with Impact in the film "August Rush". Jamal's memoir "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention is a inspirational must read.