Hanifa Shabazz, D.H.L. is a native Wilmingtonian who was born and raised on the East Side of the city. She was educated in the Wilmington public school system, graduated from Wilmington High School and continued her studies at Springfield College and Wilmington University. In recognition of her decades of innovative community engagement and economic development, including her numerous innovative program accomplishments and demonstrations of leadership, Hanifa was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Now elected as the first female President of Wilmington’s City Council, Hanifa was first elected in 2004 and honored to have served three terms as the representative of more than 9,000 residents of the City’s 4th District – – one of the most diverse districts in Wilmington. Hanifa chaired City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees and served as a member of the Finance Committee, the Education, Youth and Families Committee and the Housing and Licenses and Inspections Committee. As a result of Hanifa’s mission to pursue innovation and positive change, she has been able to achieve a series of accomplishments for her constituents.

Most recently, Hanifa asked the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to come to Wilmington to study what she saw as an epidemic of violence among young African-American men and youths who are dying at alarming rates because of violence perpetrated with guns. As Councilperson and an activist citizen, Hanifa engaged Delaware’s Congressional leaders to support her request to the CDC to conduct the study of violence in Wilmington.