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Xavier Ramey

Greater Chicago Area
Xavier Ramey serves as the Senior Assistant Director for Social Innovation and Philanthropy at the University Community Service Center at the University of Chicago. A department launched under the leadership of First Lady Michelle Obama in 1997, the Center engages students and communities in substantive discussions about social justice. Prior to this, Ramey served as a Senior Program Manager for Community Investments at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, and as the Director of Development and Marketing for the Young Men’s Educational Network—a grassroots Christian nonprofit on Chicago’s beleaguered west side. Ramey lived and worked as a consultant for NGOs in Kenya and Ethiopia, assisting them with developing their fundraising and marketing strategies. Xavier Ramey’s platform is one that embraces radical social engagement—eschewing modern charity and volunteerism as tools of limited (but important) effect and distractions from true justice. He is a founding member of an artist-activist organization called The #LetUsBreathe Collective—an organization responsible for protesting against police brutality and economic divestment of black communities in Chicago through actions such as #BrownFriday (a 2014 shutdown of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile), #BlackBrunchChi (a touring shutdown of brunch events to bring awareness to the cost of capitalism and apathy on the lives of black citizens), and Breathing Room (an inclusive space for political education, artistic creation, and police-free community building). He is a regular speaker on WVON-1690AM Chicago, and is a sought after writer and speaker focusing on matters of faith, justice, policing, and philanthropy.