Consistency, Genuineness, and Boundaries with Sumiyah Mshaka

My guest this week is double-duty social worker and fitness guru Sumiyah S. Mshaka. Sumiyah and I talk about a bunch of complex social phenomenon including trauma, experiential change, and social work.

Sumiyah is a LCSW and group fitness instructor who comes from a family with a legacy of social justice. After graduating from the UCLA MSW program in June 2004, Sumiyah began her extensive career in social justice advocacy, youth development and mental health treatment of adolescents in foster care and juvenile justice. This has included serving most recently in a mezzo social work position in the new DMH Division, Continuum of Care Reform, Interagency Placement Committee (IPC) program.

Sumiyah is active in her community, serving on the Governance Board of CAIR-LA and volunteering with L.A. AIDSWalk, Islah L.A. and Islamic Relief’s Disaster Response Team. For the past five and a half years, Sumiyah has taught Group Fitness classes at 24 Hour Fitness.

You can learn more about Sumiyah’s work by connecting directly with her via Facebook!

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Awareness, Advocacy, and Action with Umar Hakim

This week, we are joined by Los Angeles community leader Umar A. Hakim. We draw on Umar’s expertise and experience to discuss self-awareness, leadership, and transforming a charitable cause into advocacy and action – especially in non-profit and activist circles.

A native of the city of Compton, Umar is the Executive Director of the ILM (Intellect, Love, Mercy) Foundation and holds degrees in both business management and ethical leadership. Umar draws on the key principle of Facilitative Leadership to coordinate ILM’s programming, which includes Humanitarian Day, Go Beyond the G.A.M.E, and Community Accountability Labs. With a focus on using design thinking for developing new social systems and encouraging next steps for leaders in need of clarity in an age of being relevant, Umar founded INKERIJ in 2012.

Umar is an active alum with American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, contributes to civic-social organizations including NewGround: Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change and California/LA Voice PICO network, and is an active community organizer in the City of Los Angeles.

Connect with Umar on Facebook or follow him @inkerij_official.

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Facilitation, Mindful Policing and Activism With Lloyd Wilkey

On this week’s episode I interview activist, facilitator, and my good friend,  Lloyd Wilkey. I have had the honor of working with Lloyd over the past 6 years.  Lloyd has had a huge influence on the way I view dialogue, facilitation, youth development, and conflict mediation.  

During our interview, Lloyd shared his experience of being both a Black Lives Matter activist and at the same time training and working with police officers.  Lloyd is an advocate of what he has coined “Mindful Policing”. His work is centred on social justice, dialogue, equity and inclusion.

In celebration of Black History Month, Lloyd also graciously and beautifully shares his singing talent with us.   Lloyd is the co-founder of Diverse City Consulting and LA Riot Boxing

You can find Lloyd Wilkey on Facebook or his website

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Interfaith, Creative Writing, and Magic with Alex Sullivan

Poet and editor Alex Sullivan is studying the ways religion and and culture interact, with a focus on postcolonial and diaspora studies.  So it was no surprise when our conversation this week went into the areas of interfaith work, and big vocabulary words like intersectionality.

This is also Alex’s birthday week so we couldn’t resist talking about cool magic spells, and some really terrifying things like reading poetry OUT LOUD.

Alex has her BA in both Religious Studies and Social Science, and is currently doing her Masters at NYU’s Center for Experimental Humanities.  She edits for GSAS literary journal Caustic Frolic and believes there’s beauty in everything and she is always looking for it.

Check out this week’s beauty-full episode.

You can follow Alex on Facebook and Instagram.

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