Representative Ako Abdul-Samad is a National and International Motivational Systemic Speaker, Activist, Author, Photographer, Business Owner and Counselor. Ako Abdul-Samad has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and families for over five decades.
He is serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives and is Assistant Minority Leader. Ako serves on the following Committees: Administration and Rules, Education, Human Resources, International and Public Safety Committees. Ako is currently the Chairperson of the Iowa Democratic Black Caucus.
Ako was elected and served on the Des Moines School Board and held office as the Vice President of the Des Moines Area School Board
As the CEO & Founder of Creative Visions Human Development Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, Ako Abdul-Samad established this non-profit organization in 1996. Serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ako established and directed business functions that include Employment Assistance, Support Services, Healthcare Management, Community Development, Advocacy, and consultancy on Culture & Diversity Education.
Ako created “From Pain 2 Power.org” (or) “From Pain 2 Power.com” A network developed to aid in bringing individuals together as a collective whole, with the purpose of aiding those who are struggling with core pain. Now, no one has to ever be alone. This is a special place where people connect with each other, to share their feelings and have a safe place to heal. Eventually having the strength to turn their personal pain to power, and understanding that it is a choice
Cofounder and Coordinator of YMCA Downtown Teen Program
Vice President of KUCB Radio
Founder and President of African-American Islamic Association
Vice President of the Center for the Study and Application of Black Economic Development
Cofounder of the first Black Student Union in the state of Iowa
A member of International Civil Rights Solidarity Movement
Currently a contributing columnist for “The Communicator, The Voice of Black Des Moines” Bringing insight to social issues that plaque the Black Community, community at large and may have even become cyclical in nature.
Ako published his first book, “A Deeper Truth, Revelations of the Soul”, a collection of poems depicting personal experiences and events within his own life’s journey and journeys of those he has encountered.
A graduate of the National Conference of Black Lawyers Community College of Law and International Diplomacy.
Ako has received a number of awards, just to name a few….
2015 Representative of the Year Award, Iowa Fraternal Alliance
Ako was honored with the 2015 Bankers Trust’s Award of Accomplishment & Contribution, in observation of Black History Month, this award recognizes for his work and dedication that has directly impacted the countess lives across Iowa. The award acknowledges and commends Ako’s spirit of service that continues to inspire those around him.
Ako received the Iowa Black Business Summit 2014 Alexander Clark Award.
In 2009, Ako received the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Activist award, for his demonstration of commitment toward improving the quality of life in his community and in the state of Iowa.
In 2004, Ako was awarded the National Caring Award, the Caring Institute seeks to identify, honor, and reinforce the activities of particularly caring Americans; those who enable the human race by transcending themselves in service to others by dedicating the better parts of their lives to helping those in need. They have created solutions where others have despaired of finding answers. The power of Ako’s example inspires a new standard of social responsibility.