FOUNDER, ARKEE HODGES
INTERVIEW WITH BAF FOUNDER, ARKEE HODGES
Arkee Hodges is a historian, educator, entrepreneur, and visionary leader. He is the Founder and President of the Black Achievement Fund and also Founder and President of Education for Life Academy (EFLA). EFLA is an education company that offers an online African history curriculum that begins with the origins of humanity in Africa 200,000 years ago - not slavery. EFLA also offers onsite classes in Black history for middle and high school students as well as a Summer Learning & Leadership Academy. Prior
to founding EFLA and BAF, Mr. Hodges was a professor at John Jay College for Criminal Justice in Manhattan, and New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn where he taught the courses: Race and Ethnicity in America, the African AmericanExperience, and the Sociology of Urban Poverty.
Prior to these positions, Mr. Hodges served as the inaugural Director of the Children's Aid Society's (CAS) African American Male Initiative (AAMI), a groundbreaking academic, social and mentoring program for boys in Harlem developed in partnership with Columbia University's Teachers' College and its Institute for Urban and Minority Education. Conceptualized in 2005 by CAS with the help of a Study Group of Experts led by Dr. Edmund Gordon, Professor Emeritus Yale University, and Professor Emeritus, Columbia Teacher's College, the AAMI aims to improve the social, emotional and academic outcomes of African American males in Harlem beginning in the 2nd grade, by offering a comprehensive array of support services that include a personal Life Coach, one-on-one academic tutoring from Columbia Teachers’ College students, a Saturday cultural academy on the campus of Columbia Teacher's College, weekly sessions with a licensed psychologist, and a parent education and leadership component. The Initiative is serving to model new approaches to ensure Black male achievement, and has already developed promising practices for the field.
Previously, Mr. Hodges worked for a series of New York City-based nonprofit organizations including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture – the largest repository of Black arts and letters in the world, and Echoing Green – the premier seed funder for social entrepreneurs seeking to build new organizations devoted to social change. Mr. Hodges has also served as a development and business consultant for several nonprofit organizations and for-profit ventures.
For his graduate thesis, Mr. Hodges studied the Black Liberation Movement from its genesis in enslavement to the present, analyzing the effectiveness of the philosophies of Black Nationalism, Integration and Electoral Politics, and Communism and Socialism. He also studied the dynamics of Black leadership and the politics of Movement and Institution building.
Mr. Hodges received his B.A. in African-American Studies from the University of Virginia, and his M.P.S. in Africana Studies from Cornell University. Outside of his professional experience, Mr. Hodges enjoys traveling, real estate investing, and horticulture. His research interests include ancient African and world history, and Black liberation ideologies and Movements
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