Arun Prabhakaran signed on as Krasner's chief of staff after touring MLK's hometown - Generocity Philly

People

Jan. 12, 2018 2:37 pm

Arun Prabhakaran signed on as Krasner’s chief of staff after touring MLK’s hometown

Urban Affairs Coalition's former senior VP said he took the job after hearing a King speech on the importance of giving oneself up to the greater cause.

Arun Prabhakaran.

(Photo courtesy of Technical.ly Philly)

It’s been a hectic first week in Larry Krasner’s administration, as Philadelphia’s new district attorney hired and fired dozens of staffers.

One recognizable name on the list of newbies? Nonprofit pro Arun Prabhakaran, who most recently spent nine years at Urban Affairs Coalition and is now Krasner’s chief of staff.

Prabhakaran’s background lends itself easily to the role in the uber-progressive politician’s administration. As UAC’s senior VP and chief external affairs officer, he acted as an “internal CEO” to Sharmain Matlock-Turner’s “external CEO” for the multi-service, 500-employee nonprofit.

Way before that, though, he worked at more radical organizations, including Kensington Welfare Rights Union and Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, and as a board member for Bread & Roses Community Fund.

During a call from his cell while rushing to the funeral of fallen firefighter Matthew LeTourneau Friday morning, Prabhakaran said he’d known Krasner since 2000, when Krasner served as the defense attorney for protestors arrested during the Republican National Convention; Prabhakaran was working at the time as KWRU’s assistant education director.

The two were also neighbors in Mt. Airy for years.

“Early on [in Krasner’s campaign] I was advising him as a friend in my off hours on the weekends,” Prabhakaran said. Once elected, Krasner asked him to join his administration as chief of staff. “I said I’d have to think, for a long time.”

From our Partners

Eventually, Prabhakaran said yes, coming to the conclusion while on a family vacation touring sites of the American civil rights movement. “The pivotal moment” came while visiting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s home and listening to a recorded speech on the importance of giving oneself up to the greater cause.

“I got the feeling I might have to go help this gentleman, Larry Krasner, run this office,” Prabhakaran recalled.

Prabhakaran said his goals for his new role are to build a more transparent culture and “ultimately make sure we restore the honor of the office” following the tenure of Seth Williams, who is currently serving five years in federal prison following bribery and corruption charges.

Though the first few days of Krasner’s takeover have proven to be “intense,” Prabhakaran says he’ll be spending his initial weeks building trust within the office and the larger Philadelphia community. Whether he and Krasner can do that under the media microscope remains to be seen.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

Philly community orgs collected 8,000 illegal signs in June. Next stop: Trash Academy

Nominate a Philly leader of color to be recognized in Generocity’s 2018 Leader List

How ReStore’s self-sustaining revenue model supports local housing in Philadelphia

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

Philadelphia

Friends of the Rail Park

Friends of the Rail Park | Community Engagement and Programs Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA (or surrounding areas)

Technically Media

Events Coordinator

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Police Athletic League of Philadelphia

Police Athletic League of Philadelphia | Grants Manager

Apply Now

Sustainable clothing brand Grant Blvd sews with criminal justice reform in mind

United By Blue is on tour to clean the country’s waterways

This 84-year-old Philly rabbi’s arrest went viral. Here’s his handbook for protesting ICE

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bethesda Project

Director of Shelter

Apply Now
Philadelphia

free library of Philadelphia foundation

Manager of Communications

Apply Now
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Manager, Corporate Relations

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity