Dr. Hanifa Shabazz, a Wilmington native, was born and raised on the East Side of our great city. Educated in the Wilmington public school system, Hanifa graduated from Wilmington High School then continued her studies at Springfield College and Wilmington University. An honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, from Virginia University, was conferred upon Hanifa Shabazz, in recognition of her decades of community engagement and service, economic development, innovative program accomplishments and demonstrations of leadership.
Dr. Shabazz is a nine-year member of one of the nation’s largest public policy research and advocacy groups, the prestigious National League of Cities (NLC) and its affiliate member organization, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC LEO), where, she has served in various leadership positions. Recently elected as President of NBC-LEO, Dr. Shabazz served as a presenter on a panel at the 2012 World Conference of Mayors in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Sponsored by the World Conference of Mayors, Hanifa obtained professional development training at the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Institute where she received a Certificate of Completion from its Community Health Leadership program. Hanifa was honored to have served three terms as the councilperson of more than 9,000 residents of the City’s 4th District––one of the most diverse constituencies in Wilmington. In 2016, Dr. Hanifa Shabazz was elected the first female President of Wilmington’s City Council. During her political tenure, Hanifa served as the chair of City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees, a member of the Finance, Education, Housing, Youth and Families and Licenses and Inspections Committees. Hanifa Shabazz firmly embraced a mission to pursue innovative approaches to achieve positive economic and social change. As such, she achieved the following on behalf of her constituents: 1) recognized the health crisis among young African American men and youth who are dying at alarming rates from gun violence; 2) successfully petitioning the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to come to Wilmington and study the violent gun crisis as a mental health epidemic; 3) engaged Delaware’s Congressional leaders to support her request for the CDC to conduct the study of Wilmington’s increasingly deadly gun violence. Hanifa was the first elected official to implement the Neighborhood Assistance Act whereby businesses and corporations, in support of their development project’s fifty percent tax credits, invested in low and middle-income neighborhoods and made contributions to non-profit organizations. She also assisted the formation of community coalitions that secured the first of six Community Benefits Agreements, which facilitated business investment and community partnerships in formal agreements. The partnerships created jobs and engaged in business growth that provided opportunities for residents to secure livable wage jobs and for businesses to grow. Hanifa identified a 4-E approach to community development, focusing on and embracing Education, Empowerment, Economics and Environment as the hallmarks of her legislative initiatives. Dr. Shabazz organized lower wealth neighborhoods into developing their own community-driven revitalization plans known as the Special Area Management Plan for the South Bridge; the Blueprint Community: Eastside Rising Plan for the Eastside neighborhood; and West Center City Futures for the preservation of the West Center City. As a result, these three neighborhoods have witnessed their well-conceived written plans move into the implementation stage. A few years ago, Dr. Shabazz also addressed a pressing economic empowerment issue by creating the PAID Program (Preparation Assistance Instruction and Development), a 12-week intensive academic and life-skills training program that assisted individuals in successfully passing various trade union entrance exams and securing employment in the construction and other industries.
Now you know Hanifa Shabazz. She has and always will remain committed to representing the best interests of Wilmington residents!
Continuing to move Wilmington forward. Be the change!