Sakinah Ibrahim Talks Being Nominated For an NAACP Image Award

Sakinah Ibrahim Talks Being Nominated For an NAACP Image Award

Photo of Sakina Ibrahim
Sakina Ibrahim, dancer and author

NAACP Image Award logoFor youth to lead happy and healthy lives, what three things are necessary for them to navigate life’s challenges?

  • Self­-worth and confidence ­- Having the ability to see beyond circumstance and feel a sense of value for their life. Becoming determined to beat the odds because they feel great about [themselves] fundamentally.
  • Love, Love, and more Love ­- Being surrounded by adults that teach and give examples of love by what they do, how they treat themselves, their families, and the community. We have to correct through the lens of love.
  • Access and Resources ­- Young people have so much energy, but it has to be directed in positive ways. Having access to good education, programs, and resources that support their interests can make all the difference in navigating life and what they decide they want for themselves.

What qualities have helped you succeed thus far?
Having drive and a passion for the arts and self-expression as well as service. I am learning that when you place service to others at the bottom of your desires we are happier people.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how have you overcome it?       In my book, I talk about challenges that I have faced, such as having an incarcerated father, and the trauma of my family being affected by gang violence. The challenge in front of me right now is helping my partner who had a sky­-diving accident have a successful recovery. My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, says, “Life itself is a struggle.” I try to have an attitude that living is what we do in order to overcome our challenges.

In your experience, what’s the one challenge that all young women face, and how can they overcome it?
The one challenge I see in all the young women I’ve worked with is their ideas about body image, sexuality, and self-esteem. A sense of self­-worth and being present in environments that give you permission to be free, bold, outrageous, and true to yourself, are so important. They all have this special light they aren’t aware exists and as life happens you either become aware of it and let it shine, or they close up and become fearful of it. Giving them permission to become and discover their true selves is the hard work.

You can invite Sakinah Ibrahim to facilitate a Big Words to Little Me empowerment workshop” and get a copy of the book for yourself or a young person.