Rahiel Tesfamariam

Download audio | May 27, 2015

Rahiel Tesfamariam is a social activist, public theologian, writer and speaker. She is the Founder and Publisher of Urban Cusp a cutting-edge online lifestyle magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. She is also a former columnist for The Washington Post.

Rahiel holds degrees from Stanford University and Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude and was the inaugural William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Scholar for Peace and Justice. Prior to attending seminary at Yale, she served as the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of The Washington Informer, at age 23.

Before launching Urban Cusp in 2011, Rahiel directed a D.C. citywide juvenile justice reform effort where she oversaw case management for 500 youth, trained 40 nonprofit organizations and managed a $4M annual budget. She has traveled the world on various delegations and humanitarian projects and has spoken at prestigious universities and historic churches nationwide. Rahiel is also one of forty women published in the book Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith.

Rahiel has received several national fellowships and awards, including the National Association of Black Journalist’s “Salute to Excellence,” National Action Network’s “Who’s Got Next,” IMPACT Leader of the Year and EnVest’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Black Girls Rock featured Rahiel on their 2013 BET awards show, saluting “her tireless dedication to global issues, community activism and youth advocacy.”

Responding to the 2014 Ferguson decision, Rahiel led a national Black Friday economic boycott supported by dozens of celebrities called #NotOneDime. As a leading generational voice, Rahiel has appeared in countless media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, MSNBC, Ebony, Black Enterprise and more. Most recently, Rahiel was featured in Ebony and Revolt TV amongst “Leaders of the New School” and was one of six women Essence Magazine named “The New Civil Rights Leaders.”

Follow Rahiel Tesfamariam:

UrbanCusp.com | Rahiel.com | Facebook | @RahielT

Rhymes: Jay-Z "Where I'm From," Mos Def "Umi Says," Sweet Honey in the Rock "Ella's Song"


  1. I am a Christian who does bible studies in the youth prisons. I have exposure to your culture and wish for the “new heaven and new earth.” I will keep your work in prayer. It is a lonely mission we are on but we have a legacy of sacrifice which leads to victory in God’s service.

  2. Amazing…. they need more of you in New York, this comes from somewhere very sincere. Keep up the good work…
    GOD BLESS YOU, and your mission…



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