Hakim Cunningham


Boston, MA - Hakim was born and raised in the streets of Boston. The product of a Jamaican immigrant father and a Native American mother from Florida, he grew up in a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood in the Dorchester Center area of Boston. As a young man in the late 80′s, Hakim was introduced to gangs and became a hustler. His life of crime eventually led him to prison for four years. At the Bridgewater State Prison Complex, Hakim took computer classes and took part in the Cadre program serving as a hospital inmate worker learning trades in flooring installation and facilities maintenance. In this program, Hakim's life took a turn for the better when he met Imam Abudullah Faaruq Shadadah. Hakim decided to turn his life around and redirected his focus to educating himself while incarcerated. As Hakim approached his release date, he learned of the Boston Workers Alliance and the organization's serious work. After securing a job but then being fired because of his CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information), Hakim contacted the BWA and quickly became a member. Hakim was elected to the BWA Board in 2007 and was hired as BWA's second staff person in January of 2009. 


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