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founder & executive director

about our founder & Executive director

jason sharif

A native of the Whitehaven community and proud graduate of Whitehaven High School. Jason Sharif has over 20 years of public and private sector experience. In the public sector he worked 10 ½ years for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services in Memphis and Nashville as a Child Protective Services Investigator, Juvenile Justice Probation Officer and Juvenile Justice Regional Coordinator. In the private sector he worked 7 years as a Sales Representative for the Comcast Corporation in Houston.

In 2019 he returned to Memphis where he resumed his community and youth advocacy work. He taught 6th grade social studies at Craigmont Middle School and was the assistant baseball coach. he was a Youth Behavioral Counselor at Youth Villages,started the Boys & Girls Club at Westwood High School and was a Neighborhood Organizer in Klondike-Smokey City for Whole Child Strategies working with families and neighborhood schools addressing the out of school barriers that kept students in that neighborhood from arriving at school engaged and ready to learn. In October 2022 he was a candidate for appointment to the Memphis-Shelby County Board School seat for District 7.  

His community advocacy work includes being the Founding Chair of the Brothers Round Table Memphis Chapter, Founder and Executive Director of RESPECT The Haven CDC, and Advisory Council Member for the Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation.

He received his B.A. in Political Science from Jackson State University and his M.P.A. in Public Administration from Tennessee State University. He plans to pursue a PH. D in Urban Affairs at the University of Memphis. He is also a graduate of the Shelby County Voter Alliance Academy 2021 Inaugural Cohort, the Memphis Academy of Civic Engagement 2021 Inaugural Cohort and 2022 Leaders of Color. He’s also a New Memphis Fellows nominee. RESPECT The Haven CDC was recently awarded the 2023 Community Excellence Award for Excellence in Service to the Whitehaven Community by the Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation voted on by the Whitehaven Community.