Movement Strategy Center Remembers ibrahim abdul-matin, Environmental Activist, Urban Strategist, and Dear Friend of the MSC Ecosystem

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of ibrahim abdul-matin, a bright, playful spirit who made a lasting impact as an environmental activist, urban strategist, and beloved friend. At 46, he leaves behind his devoted wife and children. abdul-matin’s untimely departure has left an indescribable void within our community. Now, we come together in our collective grief to honor his extraordinary contributions to the MSC ecosystem — from his participation in Transitions Labs and Beloved Communities Network events to his unwavering dedication to driving systemic change and fostering a more equitable and sustainable world. 

abdul-matin (left) with Mia Birdbell and Calvin Willams at Transition Labs, “after dreaming and scheming of a regenerative world.” Image courtesy of Williams.

Thirteen describes abdul-matin as “a proud Muslim and New Yorker” and “a hardcore activist” who was both “humble and humorous.” From their tribute:

In recent years, he preferred to write his name in lowercase — ibrahim abdul-matin. He leaves a large, public legacy of deepening democracy, improving public engagement and advocating for the environmental health of our planet and cities. He authored the book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, was a Senior Fellow with Interfaith America and New Yorkers for Clean Power, and a NYS Advisory Board member of the Trust for Public Land.

Navina Khanna and abdul-matin at the 2015 MSC Transition Labs.

In tribute to abdul-matin’s legacy, we wanted to share some of the heartfelt reactions and sentiments of those whose lives he touched.

abdul-matin (center) with friends including James (right).

“His smile brighter than a thousand stars beaming with God’s love. His laugh a warm embrace on a cold day. His genius and fierce fire for truth, a Holy Book of poetry in one word. One beat. One note. Brother, I recognize your divinity and know you will always be with us, and I am not ready to let you go. I want you here with us so we can hold onto you tight. I am nothing but broken. Not breathing. Only sobbing. The Brooklyn Bedouin. The Solstice Star. Brother, father, husband, friend. Rise in Peace. Rise in Power. Presente!”

– Taj James, co-founder of MSC (see his original post from Facebook) 

Williams with abdul-matin, from Williams’ Instagram.

“How I admired you, respected you, and loved you. How grateful I am for you. How I already miss you so.” 

– Calvin Williams, founder of Wakanda Dream Lab, via Instagram

“We have suffered an unimaginable loss. But Jannah has gained an incredible soul. May Allah accept and reward you abundantly. You lived your life in devotion to Him. May your children always hear beautiful stories about you wherever they go. I cannot believe this. I cannot bear to see you like this, with these words beside you. May your resting place be spacious and adorned with greenery. May you find delight in all that is presented to you.”

– Aisha Shillingford, artistic director of Intelligent Mischief via Instagram

“ibrahim was a founding member of the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners (NACRP) who generously contributed to People’s Climate Innovation Center’s (PCIC) programming and community. He showed up for any opportunity to share his experience and learn from others, volunteered to lead peer calls and mentor others. He was the first NACRP member to reach out and ask how he could support our work with such an open heart and immense sense of humor. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.”

– Tamira Jones, Director of Capacity Building at Climate Innovation (now PCIC)

In honor of abdul-matin’s memory and impact, we invite you also to contribute to one of his beloved legacy projects, NuLeadership. MSC has made a contribution, and all donations are a way ensure that his work and vision will continue to positively shape our world. Donate here.