Whether on stage in Bay Area productions, traveling the world on a myriad of storytelling tours, speaking at TED, appearing in films (for example, Milk with Sean Penn), or providing voice-overs for award-winning projects, she has balanced her dynamic artistic career with outstanding achievements as a drama teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland. Her students have performed at the American High School Theatre Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), received a Broadway World San Francisco Region Award for Best Performance, and they’ve been invited to perform at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2018, Awele was honored with a CTEIG 21st Century Innovation Grant; in 2019, she received an NBC Universal Sports All-Star Teacher Award; in 2020, an American Theatre Wing Classroom Grant; in 2020, HBO received an EMMY in Outstanding Children's Program for their documentary featuring her Dr. MLK, Jr. Oratorical program; in 2021 the award-winning documentary was nominated for an NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Children’s Program), and Awele is the recipient of the 2021 Webster University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ms. Makeba is also storyteller-in-residence for Dr. Clayborne, Stanford: The World House Project; a company member of Theatre First; former community producer for the Magic Theatre’s Magic Oakland program; a founding member of Vukani Mawethu (a South African Freedom Song Choir based in Oakland); a contributor to the book Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation in Contemporary Dramaturgy, edited by Philippa Kelly, Routledge 2020; and the playwright of four one-woman shows, Rage Is Not A 1-Day Thing!: The Untaught History of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off (about the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott and four courageous, visionary women: Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Rosa Parks, and JoAnn Robinson), Family Genealogy, and her forthcoming work, Bearing Witness: Breaking the Silence.