Establish a network of one-room schoolhouses in inner cities that will revive elementary education as a stepping stone from poverty to prosperity.
Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II, Esq., a current resident of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, is Founder & Managing Partner of Ember Charter Schools for Mindful Education, Innovation and Transformation (Ember), formerly Teaching Firms of America Charter Schools (TFOA). A social entrepreneur, activist, teacher, lawyer and nonprofit leader with over 25-years experience, Rafiq grew up in severe poverty in inner city Philadelphia during the height of the crack epidemic and violence of the 1980s and early 1990s.
A two-time graduate of the University of Virginia (Bachelors in English and African-American Studies, and a Master of Teaching—English Education), Rafiq received his JD from NYU School of Law as a Thurgood Marshall Scholar, becoming an Editor of the Law Review and President of the Student Bar Association.
Rafiq practiced law with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and Hong Kong, before serving as Executive Director of the AnBryce Foundation in the Washington, DC area, a pioneering pipeline program focused on impactful education opportunities for socio-economically disadvantaged youth. In 2008 Rafiq received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs for his innovative “Teaching Firm”, an innovative model for fully teacher-led schools managed like law firms, the first of which launched in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2011.
A co-founder and former Executive Board member of the NYC Coalition of Community Charter Schools, founder of the #BlackLedSchoolsMatter initiative and co-founder of the Black-Latinx-Asian Charters Collective, Rafiq also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Echoing Green and President of the NYU Law Alumni of Color Association (LACA). Rafiq continues to maintain a small private legal practice providing pro bono services to a number of indigent clients from the community.
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