JahShams Abdul-Mumins leadership training started young. Growing up as the oldest son in a family of nine that led a nomadic existence, he was often called upon to be an adult at an early age. During the turbulent 1960s and 70s, he honed his leadership skills by making life-saving decisions through the perilous streets of Los Angeles as he navigated his passage to adulthood.
As a youth I was unable to enjoy my gifts and struggled with deep feelings of hurt, anger, and pain. I grew up a very angry Black child who had countless confrontations with racism, prejudice, classism, and violence, said Abdul-Mumin. Fortunately, he found a number of supportive individuals who helped him through the turmoil of his youth and nurtured his spiritual growth. I cherished all of those teaching moments and learning opportunities, he says.
As a social entrepreneur with 25 years of hands-on management experience, Abdul-Mumin has put those personal lessons to work helping businesses and nonprofit organizations develop successful strategies for achieving their goals. His work builds on his graduate thesis, in which he synthesized an approach for healing the male spirit and engaging men in community work. With Albino Garcia, Jr., also a Wildflowers fellow, Abdul-Mumin co-founded the Non-Traditional Leadership Institute to support non-traditional leaders in taking on responsibilities within their communities. The diverse cultures he works with include Latinos, Samoans, African Americans, Vietnamese, and Koreans throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, and Alameda County in Northern California.
Abdul-Mumin recently became executive director of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, where he coordinates some 900 area organizations, institutions, and individuals in prevention, advocacy, and policy work aimed at building healthy communities. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for his work, including the Southern California Coro Fellowship, the Salzburg International Fellowship, and the W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, which took him to Asia, South America, Europe, and throughout the United States., examining rites of passage, cultural and spiritual traditions, and leadership formations to understand systemic issues of pain, anger, and violence on healing and leadership development.
He attended the University of California, Berkeley, as a student-athlete, and completed graduate work at UCLA and USC; he is currently enrolled in Antioch Universitys Ph.D. Leadership and Change Program. Abdul-Mumin first partnered with the Wildflowers Institute in 2002, when he brought a group of men, including youth gang members, to the Bay Area for an inspirational session using Wildflowers tools. He has been a Wildflowers fellow since 2002.