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Black History Month Webinar: The 'F.R.E.E.' Program to Promote Economic Opportunity

Ian Rowe book in the middle of many faces

Event Details

Monday, February 19, 2024 
1:00 PM PST

Online Webinar 


For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490

At the heart of Black History Month is a recognition of the myriad achievements of African Americans often confronting challenges of public policies, from education to economic development. These success stories are often grounded in faith, both in the lives of these overcomers and in the communities that support them.

Few thought leaders and policy practitioners are as focused on this issue as Ian Rowe. The founder of two different charter school systems in Bronx, New York, Rowe speaks and writes widely on creating the policy conditions necessary for improving economic opportunity and engaged citizenship, particularly in the Black community.

Much of this conversation will focus on Ian's arguments set forth in his recent book, FREE: The Four Point Plan for All Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover their Pathway to Power.

Speaker: Ian Rowe

Ian Rowe

Ian Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation, and adoption. Rowe is also the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools opening in the Bronx in 2022; the chairman of the board of Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption services organization; and the cofounder of the National Summer School Initiative. He concurrently serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Woodson Center and a writer for the 1776 Unites Campaign.

Until July 1, 2020, Rowe was the chief executive officer of Public Prep, a nonprofit network of public charter schools based in the South Bronx and Lower East Side of Manhattan. Before joining Public Prep, he was deputy director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, senior vice president of strategic partnerships and public affairs at MTV, director of strategy and performance measurement at the USA Freedom Corps office in the White House, and cofounder and president of Third Millennium Media. Rowe also joined Teach for America in its early days.

Rowe has been widely published in the popular press, including in the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Examiner. He is often interviewed on talk radio programs. He is also the author of a forthcoming book tentatively titled Agency (Templeton Press), which seeks to inspire young people of all races to build strong families and become masters of their own destiny.

Rowe has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was the first black editor-in-chief of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School newspaper; a BS in computer science engineering from Cornell University; and a diploma in electrical engineering from Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn Tech), one of New York City's elite public schools, which specializes in science, technology, and mathematics.