Abdul-Hai Thomas 's profile photo

Abdul-Hai Thomas

Director of Youth Participatory Action and Research, Center for Children's Rights (CCR)

Abdul-Hai Thomas 's profile photo
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Start Year: 2024
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


After an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps, Abdul-Hai graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Abdul-Hai relocated to Jacksonville, Fla., and began his career in education. He earned a Master of Arts in Public School Building Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning in Organizations from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Abdul-Hai serves as the Child and Youth ombudsperson at Jacksonville’s Center for Children’s Rights (CCR)—using community-based and youth participatory action research to integrate children’s rights, restorative justice practices, and youth participation into Jacksonville’s System of Care.

Future Focus

Abdul-Hai looks forward to deepening his work with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), University of Florida Health (UF Health), and Ascension St. Vincent’s Family Medicine Residency Program using the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) framework. He intends to enhance existing contexts and spaces where youth, local law enforcement, and medical practitioners engage in critical conversations through storytelling and reflection to develop a System of Care rooted in right relationships. 

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program