Director, Student Civic Education
Kafi leads the University Community Service Center's programs and supports the integration of these efforts into the overall vision for student civic engagement within the Office of Civic Engagement and across campus.
Kafi leads the University Community Service Center's programs and supports the integration of these efforts into the overall vision for student civic engagement within the Office of Civic Engagement and across campus. Programmatically, she develops, supports, and oversees orientation-to-graduation programming that aims to engage both students and partners. Her goal is to foster communities of inquiry and impact that facilitate deepening student social responsibility and its implications for their personal, academic, and professional development.
Kafi previously served as the vice president of program quality, innovation, and evaluation at the Chicago Scholars Foundation, where she led the vision, research, and strategy for college access and success programming that impacted thousands of talented, first-generation, and low-income high school students across the city of Chicago, and colleges across the nation.
Before joining Chicago Scholars, Kafi was a tenure track assistant professor of social work at Dominican University. She continues to teach, research, and publish around interdisciplinary issues animating studies of urban education, racial and economic stratification, adolescent identity formation, and educational interventions in marginalized communities. She is specifically interested in the college-going processes and experiences of academically ambitious students of color, with particular attention to students who make less than optimal postsecondary institutional selections.
Kafi is on the Steering Committee of the UChicago Consortium on School Research, board of CircEsteem, and Women's Board of the Chicago Urban League. She is an alumna of the Chicago Urban League/Chicago Booth School of Business IMPACT Executive Fellowship Program and the Square One Foundation's Civic Action Capstone Fellowship.
A proud alum of Kenwood Academy High School, Kafi received a BA in cultural anthropology and Africana studies from Vassar College, MSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a PhD from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.