Photo and Video by Jason CohnNaomi Ruth Allen
Class of 2016
Naomi Ruth “Nairobi” Allen is a 20-year-old singer, actress, writer, designer, poet, artist, activist, director, and motivational speaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Naomi first started singing in the church at the age of 7, which eventually led her to begin writing, drawing, and acting. She has had the opportunity to share her art and expression all over Pittsburgh and other areas such as on Broadway in New York City in April of 2016 and the University of Chicago in April of 2017.
During her senior year of high school in 2016 at Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, she wrote and directed a One Act entitled “Someday We Will All Be Free,” which has earned her respect as a playwright and director. She is the 2016 first place recipient of the regional August Wilson Monologue Competition for her portrayal of Rose Maxson from “Fences.” During the competition she worked alongside award winning director Kenny Leon of True Colors Theatre Company and received the encouragement and approval from the likes of Denzel Washington, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Hudson, and the family of the late August Wilson. She is also the youngest recipient of the Most Valuable Person(s) in Western Pennsylvania Award. She has performed for The Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Create Festival as a headliner. She was recognized in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for creating diversity in the Create Festival this past summer. In addition, a photograph of Naomi, captured by Kendall Paige will be featured this month on the 23rd at A.I.R.S. on the Northside.
Naomi is currently attending Point Park University as a sophomore, where she is majoring in a Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting degree with over $56,000 in scholarships. At Point Park, she is a member and on several committees of the Black Student Union, a member of the Debate Team, and is hoping to receive a job as a Resident Educator. She is affiliated with the Afro American Music Institute in Homewood and 1Hood Media.
Naomi is now working on curating a Mental Health Seminar for those unsure of how to self-care, an online Mental Health talk that takes place every Sunday at 5:30, a business customizing clothing, shoes, and accessories, a book featuring her poetry, and writing and directing her own web series. By late 2017 she hopes to start a YouTube channel as an influencer, sell her artwork, and begin a musical project. She has been extremely involved in her community from speaking at Youth Town Hall meetings against institutionalized racism and gentrification, performances, to mentoring. She also has donated to multiple kitchens, food and clothing drives, and nonprofit organizations since 2004.