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Coalition Against Youth Gang Violence

ABBA Leadership Center, in association with Bethlehem of Judea Church, is proud to partner with the Coalition Against Youth Gang Violence to host the Week of Peace “Fathers and Sons for Peace” gathering. The Fathers and Sons gathering will be held on Monday, August 6, 2017 (from 6:30pm to 8:30pm). Food and refreshments will be served. In addition, the first 50 Fathers and Sons will receive free special gifts in honor of the occasion.

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On Saturday August 26, 2017 ABBA Leadership Center will be hosting its 12thAnnual Back-to-School Backpack/supplies give-away Celebration to support disadvantaged poverty stricken children. The purpose of ABBA’s Annual back-to-School backpack drive is to highlight the importance of an education and to carry out the Lord’s command concerning the poor. We target low-income children of struggling families within the Village of Hempstead and its surrounding communities of Roosevelt, Freeport, Westbury, Uniondale and Baldwin. We believe, with our partners, we can provide up to 1000 at-risk children and youth with free backpacks filled with necessary school supplies.

HELP US HELP OUR CHILDREN: A financial donation of $50 will provide a backpack for one child, a $100 will provide backpacks for two, $200 for four, $500 for ten children, $1000 will provide backpacks for twenty and $5000 will provide backpacks to over one hundred children.

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Reducing the High Rate of Recidivism

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ABBA is Reaching Men & Women Entangled in the Criminal Justice System, to Reduce the High Rate of Recidivism

ABBA LEADERSHIP CENTER, INC. recognizes that in order for ABBA to reach its objective, the combined effort of the entire effected community must be brought to bare if we are going to effectively address the crisis of the dysfunctional male. A cross section of community-based and faith-based organizations must form an alliance to work in unison to meet the need, and develop a comprehensive strategy to rebuild the broken lives of men & women in crisis situations; be it jail, homeless shelters, drug & alcohol programs or the average “Joe” aimlessly going through the motion of life.

The bible says, “though one be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV).

A broad based partnership alliance of community and faith-based organizations is absolutely essential to the healing and restoration of disenfranchised men & women in the criminal justice system.

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There has always been a catch-22 for disadvantaged workers trying to climb the socio-economic ladder, and that is the tension between having the skills and having the on-the-job experience necessary to get hired. Workers without skills can’t get the necessary on-the-job experience and without the on-the-job experience, workers can’t get the skills. The ABBA Leader-ship Center has a solution. ABBA helps contractors land jobs so they will hire workers and give them the on-the-job experience.

ABBA partnered with the Oriska Jobs and Careers Center to provide an apprenticeship program which allows workers to get paid while getting on-the-job experience and classroom training. These apprenticeships are provided by contractors that sponsor workers into the program. The contractors pay the workers a reduced wage and in return provide them with the experience and training. The Oriska Jobs and Careers Center is a New York State Department of Labor and Education certified program. These certifications guarantee that the workers who complete the paid apprenticeship program will qualify as a journey-person. This program operates from New York’s Maritime College in the Bronx. The program provides on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in the following skilled construction trades: Bricklayer & Mason, Carpenter, Electrician, Ornamental Iron Worker, Plumber, Plumber/Steamfitter, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning (HVAC), Roofer, Sheet Metal Worker and Steamfitter. Depending on the trade, the training can take anywhere from two to five years to complete.

To help contractors, ABBA also works with a not-for-profit called Economic Cornerstone which connects minority-owned contractors with private and public works projects so they can provide the on-the-job experience. While there is normally a small fee for placing an apprentice into the program, ABBA works with United Services Ad-ministration which will assume the cost provided the contractor participates in a program that includes a risk management component in its bundled package of payroll, workers’ comp and benefits. In short, ABBA has forged these partnerships with a single goal in mind, to bring skills and experience to workers in disadvantaged communities. To support the process, ABBA helps access work for those contractors willing to sponsor an apprentice and provides opportunities for the training to be cost-free for a contractor willing to participate in a pro-gram that includes risk management. Today ABBA is ready to put disadvantaged workers to work.

abbaleadershipABBA + ORISKA = JOBS
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AUGUST 13, 2016

“They came from all over the Village of Hempstead, over 200 strong; they had no agenda, they just want”

Like the Greek plays of antiquity, like a Shakespearian tragic play, African-Americans are on a course that can only be described as fratricide, the self-genocide of their own brothers and sisters. One may say this fatalistic perspective is a little extreme, but the facts speak for themselves; Black-on-Black crime is decimating communities of color. The murder-homicide of African-American men is almost exclusively committed by one brother or sister against another.

The preponderance of violence crimes in minority communities is, in most cases, committed by the very members of that same community. The devastation of the illegal drug market is operated by, and sole to, members of the same community. Yes, the argument can be made that the fatal shootings of unarmed African-American men by White police officers are racially motivated, but that’s a small fraction of Black homicides in minority communities. The bulk of Black homicides are committed against “US by US.” But the clarion call has gone out; there must be “PEACE IN THE STREETS.”

Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad has stepped up to take on the mantle to call for “PEACE IN THE STREETS.” He is advocating that people of color stop killing each other. Mr. Muhammad has initiated a three-prone approach to reducing crime and violence in minority communities:
Make our community a decent and safe place to live
We need 10,000 fearless trained in conflict resolution to help stop the beefs in our community
We must stop the killing of US by US

To facilitate these initiatives Student Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad is advocating the creation of a “Conflict Resolution Center” to be located in the heart of the community.

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ABBA Leadership Center (ALC)

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ABBA Leadership Center (ALC)

ABBA Leadership Center (ALC) is the official Consultant for the Village of Hempstead Jobs and Small Business Referral Center which identify and pre-screen men and women for construction and related work on the highly anticipated redevelopment of Downtown Hempstead. Over the last several years ABBA Leadership Center has instrumental in help residents of Hempstead find entry level jobs in the construction industry. ALC has also provided free OSHA training and work experience placement for hundreds of men and women through the Village of Hempstead.

ABBA Leadership Center Job Readiness Work Experience Training Program target hard-to-employ men and women, placing them in job Readiness work experience training programs throughout Nassau County.

ALC hosts a series of workshops training men and women on work ethics and job retention life skills. Putting hard-to-employ men and women to work is a public safety issue, reducing crime and violence in the poor underserved community.

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Ministries, Programs and Services

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Reconstructing Broken Lives – Job Readiness work experience Training Program:
ABBA Leadership Center Job Readiness Work Experience Training Program (JRWETP) for hard to employ men and women throughout the Village of Hempstead and surrounding communities. This program provides entry level on-the job training work experience for hard to employ men and women in the construction trades throughout Nassau County.  Over the last seven-plus years, Working with local Construction companies, local businesses and community-based agencies ABBA has provided hundreds of local residents with jobs and job readiness training.

We provide Job readiness training and Job retention/ life skills workshops:

  • Periodic OSHA training/work ethic workshops
  • Paid work experience and paid youth/adult internship programs
  • Job placement advocacy
  • Job retention coaching
  • Jobs and Small Businesses Referral Center (JSBRC)
    As of October 2013 ABBA Leadership Center was appointed the official Consultant for the Village of Hempstead Jobs and Small Businesses for RDUA 2.5 billion dollars redevelopment of Downtown Hempstead.

    Duties include:
  • Jobs Training and referrals
  • Setting up Jobs and Small Business Referral Center at publicly accessible location in the Village of Hempstead
  • Pre-screen intake assessment of Job Seekers
  • Skills assessment of Job Seekers for placement on RDUA Redevelopment project
  • Create publicly accessible Data tracking system of Jobs Seekers
  • Educate and inform the community of JSBFC
  • Establish work relationship with known Construction training program
  • Place and tracking Job Seekers progression of job sites
  • Monthly report of JSBFC progress
  • Act as Job placement liaison between Job Seeker and RDUA Constructors


  • Transitional Post Release Services for Ex-offenders
  • Re-release Pre-screening assessment for detainees in Nassau County Jail
  • Post release follow-up services and placement
  • One-on-one Jail visitations
  • Pre and Post release mentoring
  • Family and community mediation
  • Post release Job placement and job referrals
  • Court advocacy

Rev. Reginald Benjamin is a member of the Nassau County Council of Black Clergy which products two religious services every first third and fifth Sunday of the month.

Our goal is not to just conduct religious services but to equip and prepare men and women for a successful post-release transition back into communities after completion jail/prison incarceration. The number issue to successful reintegration back into the community is Jobs and post release reentry services, such as housing, parole/probation adjustment, drugs and alcohol avoidance, re-socialization adjustment, family reconciliation and community relations building.

Much has been said about mass incarceration and the devastating impact it has had on community color. Yet, no one has or articulated how to address the psychological, emotional or socio-economically devastation this has had on people who suffered from the over-criminalization of relatively minor offenses. There has been not attention given to destruction mass incarceration has had on families and children of incarcerated loved one.

Annual Mother’s Day Appreciation Program:

For the last twelve years, ABBA Leadership Center in partnership with the local faith-based organization, community-based agencies, and local businesses host an annual pre-mother’s day celebration targeting struggling. Hurting, single-parent mothers and grandmothers. This outreach program offers hope, encouragement, and self-value to mothers struggling to hold families together. Each event culminates with an inspirational message my well-know spiritual leaders from the local community. Bethlehem of Judea Church is converted into a virtual banquet hall providing mothers with:

  • A free three-course dinner
  • A Free Gospel concert
  • Free flowers
  • Free Mother’s day gifts bags for each mother
  • Inspirational speakers
  • Poetry, dance, and spoken words


Since 2005 ABBA Leadership, in partnership with churches, Community-based organizations and local businesses have annually given away up to 1000 Backpacks filled with school supplies to children of struggling families throughout the Village of Hempstead and surrounding communities. In particular, 46% of children living in the Village of Hempstead are impoverished. Additionally, 64% families in Hempstead are economically disadvantaged, with one of the lowest graduation rates in the State of New York.

It is common knowledge that lack of education and education opportunities is the one contributor to poverty. Lack of education is a prime of disaffected children involvement in the anti-social culture of gang violence, drugs, crime and eventual entanglement in the criminal Justice system (85% of youth 16 through 24 in the criminal Justice system lack a high school diploma).

Lack of education lead to a lack of employment and increase poverty. Poverty in poor economically disadvantaged communities is multi-generational and can be directly linked to poor or lack of education and/or educational opportunities. ABBA Leadership Center, in collaboration with partnering agencies, takes a multifaceted comprehensive approach to addressing poverty in poor under-served communities. Providing impoverish children with school supplies give them a leg up in their struggles to get an education. We have all heard stories of school teachers having to spend personal monies to buy school supplies for kids in under-served communities.


Thanksgiving Day, For many of us this is one of our most coveted holiday seasons; a time to bring our families and loved ones together, and time a to reaffirm family-hood. And yes, Nassau County is a beautiful, mostly middle class community, with all of its immaculate manicured lawns and tree-lined streets, one would be hard pressed to believe that right in the middle of our abundances there are people  going hungry, not knowing where their next meal will come from; for them thanksgiving is a time of quiet desperation.

To combat this, for the last 10-plus years, ABBA Leadership Center, in partnership with local churches, businesses, and like minded people, has given away hundred of Thanksgiving baskets replete with a turkey and enough side dishes to feed an average family of four.

Last year we gave out hundreds of thanksgiving baskets, and this year, God’s willing, with an ever-increasing number of people asking for food, we fully expect to exceed that number. But we cannot do it without your help, please consider helping us feed the hungry. Here is what the bible says: Jesus said,


We all know children are a gift from God and are to be cherished and cared for because they are the heritage of our heavenly father. Many of us are equally thankful and excited with anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. For it gives us an opportunity to express our gratefulness to God and friends through the gift of giving. Yes, how excited many of us must be in anticipation of Christmas Day!

Sadly, there are many fatherless children from low-income/poor hurting communities far less excited than many of us are. They are children that spend year after year idly languishing in melancholy praying and hoping that they won’t be overlooked this holiday season of Christmas joy.

For the last eleven years now ABBA and friends have been a small ray hope for these children through our Annual Christmas Gifts Drive. This year, with your help, we want to continue our Godly motivated efforts to these children by providing them with a Christmas gift. More importantly, we want them to know that they are not forgotten, that God heard their prayers.

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The Declaration of Independents declares that “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

The great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., referencing the quote from the Declaration of Independent said:

“If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life or liberty and the possibility for the pursuant of happiness. He merely exists.”

While it is true that America has fundamentally recovered from the 2007 recession, communities of color in general, and the African-American community, in particular, languish far behind the rest of the county. African-Americans unemployment rate is 8.8 percent, more than double the rate of whites, 4.3 percent, and is actually closer to the 9 percent unemployment rates whites experienced in the depths of the recession. Would you believe, in light of this travesty, Black unemployment is starting to trickle upward!

Black youth unemployment is an astounding 31 percent, and in many communities, it hovers around 51 percent. Amazingly no one seems to care as more and more African-Americans are being economically marginalized. Any attempt to tackle the astronomical Black unemployment rate is viewed as racist pandering, not worthy of serious consideration or investment. As with the so-called “war on drugs,” as long as the unemployment is endemic to the Black community, no serious policies are put in place to redress it. In fact, in a way reminiscence of the so-called “war on drugs,” in a subtle yet perceptible way, Black unemployment continues to help feed the so-called prison industrial complex.

On January 15, 1998, I was called from the Ghetto of the South Bronx to head up a reentry mentoring program for Long Island Youth Mentoring. In my mind I thought I was finally moving out of the Ghetto into a better community, one in which I could use my experience to better the lives of a diminishing African-Americans community known as the Village of Hempstead. In my mind, I thought nothing could be as despairing as the South Bronx. I also believed that God was rewarding me by moving me out of the South Bronx to a better community with people that were better off.

To my surprise, and dismay, I found myself riddled in the same type of neighborhood I was desperate to escape. I found the Village Hempstead had the same level of desperation as my brothers and sisters in the South Bronx. I found the same level of social and economic disparity, the same dysfunctionality, the same sweltering hopelessness, the same escapist abuse of drugs and alcohol, the same level of gangs activity, the same level of incarceration and recidivism, the same level of dysfunctional broken hurting single-parent homes; Unemployment of youth and young adults was the same if not higher. It was, for me, what we call a “rude awakening;” it was not another episode of the Jeffersons sitcom “Moving of up to east side,” it was more like a remake of the twilight zone.

But here is what I found different about the people of the Village of Hempstead, they had a different level of social consciousness, they were willing to fight to save their communities. What I do know is true is this: “If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life or liberty and the possibility for the pursuant of happiness. He merely exists.

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