Baccalaureate Speaker: Rev. Floyd Flake
Former U.S. Representative Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake is the senior pastor of the 10,000 member Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica, Queens and President of Edison Charter Schools. During Rev. Flake's 25-year pastorate, Allen has become one of the nation's foremost Christian churches and nonprofit corporations. The church's annual operating budget of $29 million, expansive commercial and residential development, 500-student private school founded by Rev. Flake and his wife Elaine, and various commercial and social service enterprises have placed it among the nation's most productive religious and urban development institutions.
Edison Charter Schools, the nation's largest schooling company is a $350 million corporation with a capitalization value exceeding $1 billion dollars, which makes Rev. Flake one of the highest-ranking African American corporate executives in America. Edison operates 113 public schools nationwide, either through contracts with Boards of Education or as Charters.
From 1986-97 Rev. Flake served as a Representative in the U.S. Congress, and established a reputation for bipartisan, innovative legislative initiatives to revitalize urban commercial and residential communities. Most notably, the Community Development Financial Institutions Act of 1993 contained provisions named the Bank Enterprise Act (BEA), authored by Representative Floyd Flake, and Tom Ridge, that provided incentives for financial institutions to make market-oriented investments in destabilized urban and rural economies.
Rev. Flake is a proponent of market-oriented community and economic development in corporate settings, policy forums, seminaries and divinity schools and countless other forums as a way to widen the circle of inclusions for more Americans. He is considered the leading voice among African Americans for school choice.
Rev. Flake earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree (D. Min.) from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH and holds a B.A. from Wilberforce University. Before assuming the pastorate of Allen Church, Rev. Flake served in various capacities at Boston University; Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Interim Dean of the Chapel and Dean of Students. This followed successful stints as Associate Dean of Students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Marketing Analyst for the Xerox Corporation.
Rev. Flake recently authored a book, entitled The Way of the Bootstrapper: Nine Action Steps for Achieving Your Dreams, which made the Los Angeles Times and Walden Books Bestsellers List.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 27, March 27, 2001