Honoring GCF Board Member ibrahim abdul-matin

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icon-clock July 28, 2023

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of a remarkable member of our Green City Force family and extraordinary ally – beloved board member ibrahim abdul-matin. 

ibrahim was a light – a force of wisdom, humor, faith, resilience, love and humility.

He built a life and career of authenticity blended beautifully with aspiration, talent, generosity and consideration for others. His beautiful family includes his wife Fatima, three young sons, parents, siblings and extended family. Beyond his family, he touched many others – from all his various circles – professionally, in faith-based communities, social justice, and sustainability spaces as well. 

ibrahim had a big mind and a big heart, and he touched the lives of so many. As much as he meant to me personally, I know that there are scores, possibly hundreds more who had much closer relationships with him. That was ibrahim.

Everyone who shared space and community with him was seen and valued. He recognized each of us for what was good and without even trying, he motivated us to want to do better. He was a role model to all of us.

His artful blending of idealism and spiritual commitment with pragmatic application had led him into government, public administration, parenthood, and media. His unique voice helped elevate the environmental vision of Islam, the spiritual opportunity of parenting, and the cultural and political side of sports.

ibrahim’s legacy lives on in his family, his writings, memories we all have of engagement with him and lessons we’ve learned from his “simple” and poignant perspectives on life and meaning. One of the sweetest memories I have of him was him explaining to me that his boys called his father, “Daddy’s Daddy”. 

It was an honor to know him, to have him come back to GCF after having been an original staff member to support my leadership, and to have him spontaneously reach out to share words of wisdom to Cohort 23 at their graduation ceremony in Brooklyn in August 2022. He told the graduating corps that he had recently learned what it meant to really be grateful and to be resilient. He then went on to explain to them that as part of the GCF community, the one thing he wanted them to remember was that no matter what was going on with them in their personal or professional lives, “GCF had their back”. 

I have heard ibrahim speak at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Heritage at an Interfaith Climate Summit with Al Gore. I have seen him on the streets of Ft. Greene Brooklyn, running into friends from years past at a farmers’ market. And I have seen him on Zoom calls during COVID explaining to me that whatever I needed from him could be acquired with the approval and attention of his wife, the phenomenal Fatima. 

After overcoming over 18 months of extreme health challenges, ibrahim was declared 100% recovered and healthy by June of this year. So it was devastating to hear the news of his sudden, unexpected passing. I can only imagine what others closest to ibrahim are experiencing in processing this loss.

Through all of life’s challenges, ibrahim remained steadfast and bright.

It is with gratitude that we think of and remember ibrahim. We miss him dearly, and endeavor to emulate the inspired light that he was. ibrahim was a joy and a gift and a wonderful human being. My deepest condolences and appreciation to Fatima and his family for sharing him with the rest of us. Things will never be the same. But we offer whatever we can to support the family and to help remind his boys that their daddy was an amazing one of a kind who truly rocked the world. 

In service, 


GCF Executive Director


You can read more about ibrahim’s life and legacy here


ibrahim abdul-matin is the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet and is the co-founder of Green Squash Consulting, a management consulting firm based in New York that works with people, organizations, companies, coalitions and governments committed to equity and justice and specializes in dynamic strategic and focused stakeholder management and partnership development.

“GCF is crucial as we transition away from our extractive way of life towards a regenerative one. I joined the GCF board because I believe in supporting a group of young people who are propelling a regenerative future.”

RSVP to August 15, 2023 Celebration of ibrahim in Fort Greene Park