Type: School event

Young Leaders in Public Service with Michigan State Representative Yousef Rabhi

Date & time

Mar 29, 2021, 5:00-6:00 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

Ford School students are invited to join the Program in Practical Policy Engagement for a discussion with Michigan State Representative Yousef Rabhi.

About our speaker:

Yousef Rabhi is the Democratic Floor Leader in the Michigan House of Representatives. Now serving in his third term representing the 53rd State House district, he has emerged as a leader in the struggle for single-payer universal healthcare, enacting Green New Deal policies at the state level, fighting for justice for all and reversing cuts to funding for public schools and universities.

Before his time as State Representative, Yousef served for six years as a Washtenaw County Commissioner, leading the Board as its Chair during the 2013­-14 term. During his time on the Board, Yousef served on nearly 20 different boards, committees, and commissions covering public safety, public works, solid waste management, transportation, regional cooperation, human service funding, land preservation, and food policy, among others.

Born in Ypsilanti and raised in Ann Arbor, Yousef is a graduate of Ann Arbor Public Schools and attended the University of Michigan, where he worked for social change as an activist in the peace, labor, and environmental movements. He earned a degree in Environmental Science specializing in Urban Planning and Ecosystem Management.   It was during his senior year that he ran for the County Board of Commissioners. After graduating, and while serving as a County Commissioner, Yousef began a career in public land stewardship and ecosystem management working at both the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation and the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.
As the son of an immigrant father and activist mother, Yousef has had a lifelong immersion in social change. Yousef's paternal grandparents were revolutionaries, putting their lives on the line in the struggle against European colonialism in Africa during the Algerian War of Independence. His maternal grandmother spent her career advocating for peace, universal disarmament and ending global imperialism, including work to end Apartheid in South Africa. She served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the World Peace Council, the Director of the Center for International Peace and Justice and a leader in the anti-Vietnam War movement, organizing rallies and marches, including one that she organized with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The son of Italian immigrants born and raised in southwest Detroit, his maternal grandfather was a WWII veteran who worked as a skilled tradesman in the auto industry and spent his life organizing his fellow workers as a rank-and-file UAW activist who eventually became the president of his local.

P3E's Young Leaders in Public Service series provides the opportunity for a small group of Ford School students to hear from and talk with elected officials and staff who will share their journeys, what led them to dedicating their lives to public service, and the skills that have helped them be successful.

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