Celebrating the Life & Legacy of StepUp Board Member, Umar Salute Muhammad

On Monday, July 17, 2017 Durham lost Umar Salute Muhammad, a well-loved advocate for social justice and the Durham community. Born and raised in Durham, Umar showed his love and commitment for community through his involvement in many community-based organizations. It is important that we take a moment to acknowledge Umar’s impact on the StepUp Board Durham Board of Directors where Umar was generous enough to devote a portion of his free time to engage in the strategic planning process of the organization. Having experienced the criminal justice system first hand and subsequently encounter barriers to employment, Umar was able to provide invaluable insight into the inequities of the criminal justice system along with an understanding of the experiences of StepUp Durham participants.

Umar’s sudden death is devastating, and many in the Durham community are feeling the impact of his loss. My hope is that the Durham community takes it upon themselves to keep his spirit alive by continuing the important work he committed his life to. Specifically, we should continue to promote Umar’s focus on addressing barriers to re-entry after incarceration and engage in issues surrounding criminal justice reform, community activism and racial equity. Umar had a deep love and commitment to our community. And though he may no longer be with us in physical form, the significance of his short time will be with us for many years to come.

Written by Liz Adams
StepUp Durham Board Co-Chair

Video by Debbie Vu
Johnson Service Corps Member