Gemali Ibrahim was raised on the Far South Side of Chicago by Muslim parents who were leaders in their local religious community. Gemali grew up as the oldest sibling in a household of three brothers and one sister, and from very early on he held a special place in his heart for brotherhood. Gemali feels that “to this day, one of the strongest ways that God has shown himself to me and brought forward the best from me has been through brotherhood.”
He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Chicago State University. However, over the course of his studies, he realized that he was not willing to commit his life to working in a system that unfairly impacted the lives of poor, Black, and Brown people. Soon after graduating, Gemali began working as a Community Organizer with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) on Chicago’s Southwest Side. During his five years with SWOP, he honed the relational and interpersonal skills which continue to serve him immensely to this day. Through his community organizing work, Gemali’s talent and passion for serving at-risk youth became evident..
Gemali was blessed to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in 2010. He then married his beloved wife, Sadia Nawab, in 2011, and is a proud father of his 3-year-old son, Isa Muhammad Ibrahim. In 2012, Gemali completed the Ta’leef Collective’s “Mu’allif Mentorship” training program, which equipped him with skills to give pastoral care and call people to God with dignified, respectful manners and beautiful actions.
Gemali has been involved with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) since 2009. This summer, he accepted a position in its Green ReEntry program, where he currently serves adults returning to society after being incarcerated and youth who have been identified as either perpetrators or potential victims of gun violence.
Gemali aspires to become a greater asset to the Ummah across the country and globe through his work with Muslim and non-Muslim youth. His drive is informed by first-hand knowledge of the struggles, obstacles and opportunities that challenge America’s youth.
To put it simply, he works every day to be the best brother, uncle and nephew he can be. Gemali says, “serving God’s people is not a task to be taken lightly.” He is grateful for the amazing, beautiful people who have invested in him throughout his life, and takes very serious his opportunity to represent the community of Muhammad (SAW) in a firm, dutiful and culturally relevant manner.