Rafiq Kalam Id-Din IIFounder and Managing Partner of Ember Charter for Mindful Education, Innovation and Transformation Brooklyn, NY Award Year: 2020
Social entrepreneur, activist, teacher, lawyer and nonprofit leader, Rafiq Kalam Id-Din II is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ember Charter for Mindful Education, Innovation and Transformation, a Black-led charter school that focuses on African and African-American cultural education. Anti-racism and justice for Black students in particular is at the center of the school’s mission. As 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 currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Echoing Green and President of the NYU Law Alumni of Color Association.
Rafiq’s award will help launch I-Wonder Con: 21st Century Global Economy, Industry and Tech Conference, and Career Expo. This will be a large, multi-day, multimodal, multimedia conference and exposition where the country’s leading businesses and industries will “put on a show” to expose, inspire, and recruit low income Black and Brown public school students into the myriad industries and enterprises that comprise our complex and interconnected economy.
It will also support The Ignite Change Fund: The First Youth-Led Investment Company. This will be an investment committee composed entirely of the low-income Black and Brown public high school students Ember Charter School serves. Students will be shareholders of the fund and will make decisions about which stocks and other securities in which to invest. Upon graduation from high school, these students will have the opportunity to sell their shares back to the fund or to another philanthropic investor who commits to gifting those shares to an incoming first-year student member of the investment committee. Graduates can use the proceeds from the sale of their shares to fund their ongoing education, pay for housing, start a business, etc.
Rafiq was interviewed by NBA.com where he discussed his school’s dedication to anti-racism and justice for Black students and was featured on NYU of Law’s website about building a new model of education.