ABU V. EDWARDS
Political Action Chair of the Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP//Founder and President of Millennials In Action & MIA Strategies LLC
As a native of the state of Pennsylvania, Abu Edwards resides in Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia and has been passionate about politics since his childhood. Abu is a self-proclaimed ‘grassroots guy with a grass roots approach’. Being 1 of 11 children, Abu attributes his tenacity, work ethic, and leadership skills from watching his mother work incredibly hard as a retired city worker to raise and support her family. He is equally thankful for his stepfather who came into his life when he was young and supported his mother and siblings. Abu’s grandmother also played a large role in advocating for him to become a political leader as she was an advocate in the community helping to empower people.
Abu is committed to mentoring young people and encouraging them to become engaged in the political process; both on a local and federal level. He served as the FLAG Assistant Coordinator for PA Future Leaders of American Government under the umbrella of Blacks in Government. In this role, Abu recruited more than 100+ college and high school students across a span of five years. In doing so, these students were given the opportunity to attend conferences under FLAG at no cost. This in turn led to them being able to network with local, state, and federal arms of the government to earn internships and employment.
In 2018, Abu served as the Director of State affairs for Sam Inc. spearheading advocacy efforts to combat substance abuse wherein he educated Republicans and Democrats on the importance of addiction treatment and the implementation of safe cards and prevention. Abu personally oversaw a budget to build an executive team of lobbyists, community professionals, state directors, and state operations. He also built seven statewide coalitions and managed all state coalitions for SAM Inc. for the states of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Vermont, Delaware, and New Hampshire. Abu also built an entire field operation in Detroit, Michigan.
In 2018 Abu spent 3 1/2 months in Detroit and hired more than 200 black and brown canvassers, primarily millennials, to canvas and manage phone banks to encourage 200,000 plus Michiganders to vote in the upcoming election. Moreover, Abu was a consultant for the Committee of Seventy. In this role, he led the 2022 councilmanic redistricting community input sessions across the city of Philadelphia. He has always believed communities should pick their elected officials, not the other way around. With this approach, Abu believes that the community can be very influential in providing input, suggestions, and advocacy suggestions; particularly surrounding the drug pandemic as many of his family fell prey to this pandemic. So there is a personal connection there.
While personally facing literacy struggles as a child and being left back twice in Kindergarten, Abu has always been keenly focused and committed to education; particularly reading and comprehension. His personal experience was one of the reasons why he became President of The Friends of Greater Olney Library, wherein they focused on childhood literacy. Abu continues to be committed to developing programs to increase literacy and provide support to students in the Olney community and envisions these programs being implemented through the City of Philadelphia. With this dedication, he also spearheaded the advocacy movement to keep all libraries open and fully funded.
Abu has experienced a great deal during his life in Philadelphia. From living in the projects and shelters to witnessing murder. While some may have been scared by these experiences, Abu drew strength from them, becoming his High School Class President and VP of City Wide Government. Notably, Abu was the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college.
Civil Rights is a movement that Abu is extremely passionate about and committed to. Abu serves as a Democratic Committee person in addition to being the Philadelphia branch NAACP Political Action Chair. In his role with the NAACP, Abu builds voter registration drives and oversees poll-worker recruitment and the voter protection program to ensure that there are enough workers to enlist a secure and safe election.
Furthermore, Abu spends a great deal of his time mentoring hundreds of youth in the Philadelphia Area. In his role at the Institute and Development of African American Youth, he worked as a Coordinator for the “Don’t Fall Down in the Hood” program for troubled youth. He was also an aide to vision quest to help assist and mentor troubled youth.
Abu Edwards is committed to his community and putting himself in positions to make a difference. Abu worked diligently as Director of Black Male Engagement Biden Campaign, deputy political director Bloomberg Campaign, deputy campaign manager of the PA Supreme Court Campaign Organizing for America, Field Works LLC, For Our Future, Philadelphia Parks Alliance, and also worked as a Legislative Aide. Abu is currently employed by All Voting is local.
In 2014 he ran for Democratic Committee Person of the Democratic 42nd Ward (Olney) and served as a Committee Person for 8 years. In 2022 he moved to Mt. Airy ran for, and won, the Committee Person for the Democratic 22nd Ward (Mt.Airy). Abu was also the recipient of community awards from Former Councilwoman Marian Tasco, Greater Philadelphia Asian Social Services, Institute and Development of African American Youth, and also received the Philadelphia Community Service Legacies Award.
Abu graduated from Wilberforce University with a B.A in Political Science and is a 2021 graduate of the Change the Change HBCU Data Academy.