Brooklyn, New York , United States
|| 00, 1971
Dec 16, 2008 03:44pm
|Info||The Reverend Assemblyman Karim Camara born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is the son of a retired nurse and principal. He follows a long tradition of ministers who have been inspired by faith to engage the political process to speak for the marginalized. |
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Assemblyman Camara was the Director of Institutional Advancement (fundraising and organizational development) for the Cush Campus Schools, a pre-K - 8th grade independent school located in Crown Heights. He has also worked in the past with the American Red Cross of Greater New York in their Emergency Family Center, a transitional housing shelter for displaced and abused women.
Assemblyman Camara received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Literature and Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from the New York Theological Seminary. He has also studied at Alfred University, Fordham University and Wesley Theological Seminary.
In 1999, as an intern with Uth Turn (a program that serves “at-risk” youth, ages 13-21), he was assigned to First Baptist Church of Crown Heights. When the program ended in May 2000, he was named Assistant Pastor and by 2002, he became the first Executive Pastor in the church’s 52 year history, a position he still holds.
Assemblyman Camara has a long-time passion for public service and believes in government as a tool to help improve the lives of its citizens. As a student at Xavier University, he was both active in the political process and community service. In 1991, he joined a movement of college students across the state of Louisiana who rallied against David Duke’s campaign for governor. In 1992, Assemblyman Camara was a leader in Xavier University’s nationally recognized community service organization entitled M.A.X. (Mobilization at Xavier). As part of this organization, he started and led a program called Project R.I.S.E. (Reducing Illiteracy Scars through Education), a literacy program at a New Orleans public school with some of the lowest reading scores in the city. Because of the success of this program, he was invited to meet President Bill Clinton and his Special Assistant Eli Segal to discuss the president’s idea for Americorps, a national community service program.
He has been the recipient of several awards and distinctions. While a student at Xavier University, he participated in the Biomedical Science Scholars Program at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN. In 1997, he participated in the National Capital Seminarians for a Semester program where he studied legislation and ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and worked with the Children’s Defense Fund and as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Major R. Owens (D-NY).
Assemblyman Camara is a frequent speaker at churches, schools, and community organizations. In addition, he still finds time for volunteer service in his community. He served for three years on the Community Advisory Board of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center and continues to serve on the Faith Leader Advisory Committee of New Visions for Public Schools and the Board of Managers of the Bedford YMCA. He is a Certified Life Coach and is a member of the Christian Coaches Network (CCN) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).
He is married to Orelia Merchant Camara.