Jelani Freeman is a community leader, attorney and motivational speaker who has dedicated his life to serving children. His commitment to kids grew from his time in multiple foster homes, shelters, group homes and juvenile facilities.  Jelani Freeman entered the foster care system in Rochester, NY at the age of 8, when his mother was no longer able to care for him and he spent most of his youth in foster care before he aged out of the system.

Driven by his determination to be a voice for voiceless children, Jelani has worked for multiple agencies that serve youth, including the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where he served as the architect of many of the Department’s positive youth development programs. Jelani has spent his career working in government, starting with a Senate internship for Hillary Clinton in 2003, which propelled him to speak about his personal story at the July 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Jelani earned a law degree from Howard University School of Law in 2010.  He also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from SUNY Buffalo and a Master’s degree in History from American University. Currently, he works as an Appellate Attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  He also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in D.C. and sits on the Boards of the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) and the D.C. Office of Employee Appeals (OEA).