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Brandon Abdullah Powell: An Emerging Leader

Brandon Abdullah

E-Media graduate Brandon Abdullah Powell is an “African-American to watch”.

Abdullah, was named one of ten emerging African-American leaders by the Cincinnati Enquirer on October 2.  

He is program director for Elementz, a hip hop arts center in Cincinnati’s West End, where he began working after his graduation in 2006.  

In the community, he is known as Brother Abdullah.  During his years at UC, he was known as Brandon Willis.

Elementz works to provide a support system for inner city teens.  The after-school program uses the power of hip hop culture to inspire youths to become leaders.  Teens and young adults can express their creativity through music, poetry, rap, dance and visual art.

Abdullah told the Enquirer that the most pressing problem for the local black community is connection and that’s what Elementz tries to provide.

“I see youth on a day-to-day basis.  For many the father is missing. They don’t have a support system in their lives that could include a coach or a minister…They know they are supposed to stay in school, but dropping out and selling drugs are options. The streets do call,” he told the Enquirer.

Abdullah said he was honored and humbled to be recognized by the newspaper.

He said his inspiration comes from his relationship with God.


Written October 4, 2011


Read more about Brother Abdullah.