Freda Fafah Ami Tei, Manhattan College
Freda Fafah Ami Tei, a third year student in Biology at Manhattan College, actively participates in her local Bronx community through the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) and Sistas and Brothas United (SBU). Freda has been involved in organizing for better schools and social change since 2009. She was drawn to organizing by her realization that her Bronx high school needed more resources and a bigger building. Freda and her fellow students joined the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition’s campaign to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into schools. As a college student, Freda helped establish a tutoring program at SBU, and has been instrumental in the college access program. She has also continued to organize as part of the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance–a further testament to her deep dedication to grassroots organizing for change.
-Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, President
I started working with the North West Bronx Coalition my sophomore year of high school. I was elected vice president of the student government at Leadership Institute High School. We wanted to find a bigger space for our school. This led us to join the campaign for the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, a successful campaign of which I am still a leader. We also worked with Borough President Ruben Diaz to acquire funding to purchase Mac computers, which helped us with our research papers and college applications.
After high school, I wanted to give back to my community so I teamed up with the college coordinator at Sistas and Brothas United to create a tutoring program for high school students. I train youth leaders on what SBU is about and the issues we work on, for example registering people to vote or collecting signatures in support of the Dream Act. I ran the college access department when the coordinator was on leave. I learned to manage an entire department by myself and I continued tutoring at the same time. I traveled to Mississippi to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. The trip was educational and empowering. We attended workshops on mobilizing people to fight for a common goal.
-Freda Fafah Ami Tei