Dr. Akil Kokayi Khalfani is a Change Agent, Motivational Speaker, Ambassador, Author, and Professor. He is Director for the Center for Global Education and Experiences, Director of the Africana Institute and Associate Professor of Sociology at Essex County College. In 2019, Dr. Khalfani was selected as a Presidential Elevate Fellow for the Council on International Educational Exchange. He received a Citation Award from the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa in 2017, for his “outstanding contributions in the field of education and his humanitarian deeds.” He became the Pan African Diaspora Ambassador to the Ooni of Ile Ife, Nigeria in 2016 and was awarded The Chair Academy’s 2016 International Exemplary Leadership Award. Additionally, Dr. Khalfani has been honored by the New Jersey's Urban Mayor's Association. And he has been recognized for his community service work by the United States Congress, the California State Senate, the New Jersey State Assembly, and several municipalities in New Jersey.
He is the author of, "The Hidden Debate: The Truth Revealed about the Battle over Affirmative Action in South Africa and the United States", which was nominated for the national Oliver Cromwell Cox Award by the American Sociological Association (ASA). He is the co-author of "Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Our Complex World, 4th edition". He is a contributing author to several books including the "W.E.B. Du Bois Encyclopedia", "The Demography of South Africa" and "White Logic, White Methods, Racism and Methodology", which won the ASA’s 2009 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award.
Dr. Khalfani is a candidate for U.S. Congress representing New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. He recently founded Vote-ED, a nonprofit organization dedicated to voter education and registration.
Dr. Khalfani is the Host and Executive Producer of "The Pulse": a televised talk show that explores the diversity of the African global experience (since 2011). He has appeared in several documentaries including: "54", "Searching for Shaniqua" and "Black Eagle of Harlem". He has given keynote addresses at the United Nations and for various corporate and government organizations such as KPMG and the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA). Additionally, he has given graduation and keynote addresses at various secondary schools and universities. He sits on the editorial board for the Association of Black Sociologists’ journal entitled "Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal".
He was a Commissioner on the West Orange Human Relations Commission and was the Vice President of the West Orange African Heritage Organization. He is the New Jersey Chair for the World African Diaspora Union (WADU). Ambassador Khalfani was an Advisor to the UNESCO Center for Global Education and previously served as Co-Chair for the Education Committee for the City of Newark’s African Commission and served on the Essex-Newark Coalition to End Homelessness. He served as President and Vice President of the Board of Trustee for Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School.
Dr. Khalfani earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degrees in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, from which he also earned a Graduate Certificate in African Studies. While living in South Africa he studied at the University of Pretoria. He earned his bachelor’s degree also in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His areas of expertise are Africana Studies, race relations, social stratification, and developing solutions to social problems.