Khatib A.F. Waheed

For over a decade and a half, Khatib Waheed has served as a national leader in race equity. "We use the Racial Equity Learning Exchange Sessions℠ (RELE pronounced real) as a platform to provide facilitation, consulting, training and train-the-trainer sessions to organizations, government agencies, and policy makers.” RELE Sessions℠ invite diverse stakeholders to examine the extent to which the issues of race and poverty influence how their system policies respond to the needs of children, families, and communities of color. 


In his daily work, when not facilitating RELE Sessions℠. Khatib works in city government. He enjoys the challenges of working for the first duly elected African American female Circuit Attorney, for the City of St. Louis as Director, Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships. It is a position he has held since 2017. In that capacity Khatib has helped design and implement Diversion Programs as an alternative prosecution and deferred sentencing strategy for first-time low-level offenders. He also helps identify community partners who are willing to provide employment and other resource supports aimed at increasing public safety and achieving racial equity in the criminal justice system outcomes. 

Khatib A.F. Waheed

Founding Consultant, Presenter and Facilitator 

Since its inception in June 2011, Khatib Waheed has been the Founder, Presenter, Facilitator and Consultant of the Racial Equity Learning Exchange Sessions℠. Prior to his national work as a Presenter/Facilitator of RELE, Waheed served from 2003 to 2011 as a Senior Fellow for the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) in Washington, DC.  His work there helped spearhead CSSP's involvement with a national, multi-year campaign called the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare. The Alliance was created to safely reduce disproportionality and disparities for children and families of color involved with the child welfare system. 


From 2001 to 2003, Khatib worked as Senior Associate for the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, which focused on improving opportunities and outcomes for youths transitioning from foster care to adulthood. He also served as a Senior Associate for the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives from 1999 to 2001. While working at Aspen, Khatib helped to develop conceptual frameworks for analyzing how structural and institutional racism perpetuate long term disadvantages for African American and other children, families, and communities of color. During this same period Khatib also served as the Special Assistant to the Director, Missouri Department of Social Services. While there he established a multi-agency coalition to help reduce youth violence, drug trafficking and teen pregnancy in the St. Louis area.

In 1997, Khatib became the first Executive Director, for the State of Missouri’s newly created partnership called the St. Louis Community Partnership. It was established as a resource and funding intermediary to the St. Louis Caring Communities Programs and was renamed the Area Resources for Community and Human Resources (ARCHS).  From its inception Khatib was responsible for leading the ARCH’S board comprised of civic, community, political and business leaders who also launched the 2004 Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiatives. 


In 1989, with support and funding from the Danforth Foundation and the Missouri Departments of Mental Health, Social Services, Education and Health, Khatib co-designed and implemented the Walbridge Caring Communities Program (WCCP) in a North St. Louis neighborhood called Walnut Park. The Walbridge Caring Community Program became known as the St. Louis Caring Communities Program (SLCCP) after it expanded from three neighborhood schools to 20 schools throughout the City of St. Louis. The model was expanded statewide to serve 100 schools throughout Missouri. The unique approach of providing child and family support services received state-wide, national, and international renown as an innovative approach for delivering multi - family centered services from a school-based setting to families whose children were at-risk of failing in school and being placed in foster care or juvenile detention. The WCCP/SLCCP model has been studied and written about in numerous publications and attempts were made to replicate it nationally and internationally.


Khatib has received numerous awards for his service to children, families and communities and holds a M. Ed. from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and a B.A. in History and Political Science from Webster University, with a Missouri Secondary Education Teaching Certificate in Social Studies. He has participated in policy briefings at the White House; presented at several National Governor’s Association Conferences about the needs of children and families; and has testified before Congress about disparities in foster care. He is also a past participant in the International Initiative for Children, Youth and Families. His participation allowed him to visit both the Netherlands and Israel to network with policy makers, field experts and researchers representing fifteen countries about ways to establish multi-layered family support programs aimed at strengthening families and neighborhoods.

"A law can't change hearts, but it can restrain the heartless." 

 Martin Luther King Jr 



 "As you know, courageous conversations requires an expert facilitator. Mr. Waheed and the RELE process created both for our stakeholders. In fact, before we were able to secure his services, we had utilized other facilitators with disastrous results. Fortunately, Khatib was able to undo the damage done and rebuild an atmosphere of trust among our participants. Upon his foundation we have been able to build a far reaching collaborative initiative called Race Matters for Juvenile Justice... It now involves the Courts, DSS, law enforcement, our school system, advocates, faith based organizations, prosecutors, county officials and many others."






Louis A. Trosch, District Court Judge, Mecklenburg County, 26th Judicial District, State of North Carolina, General Court of Justice 

"There will always be some whose personal journeys make it more challenging to open themselves to consideration of new ways of thinking, and Khatib was masterful in hearing the challenges of those people, expressed his appreciation for their honesty and gently invited them to continue to question. The evaluations of his work were overwhelmingly positive. Khatib's work paved the way for us to develop multiple working groups to continue the work toward racial equity. Two years later these groups continue to be active and involved in working toward improved staff relationships and improved outcomes for children and families."  



Cynthia W. Lewis, LMSW, ACSW,

Former Director, Child and Family Services, Monroe County, Department of Human Services, New York 

“Mr. Waheed's approach to the work is sensitive and caring. He has the unique ability to make everyone in the room feel engaged and to acknowledge the value of varying opinions. It is my considered opinion that you could not find a better person than Khatib Waheed





 Cynthia W. Lewis, LMSW, ACSW,

Former Director, Child and Family Services, Monroe County, Department of Human Services, New York 

 “With Mr. Waheed's expert facilitation, our County has initiated a variety of systems improvements that now recognize the need to safely address institutional practices and policies that disadvantage certain groups, with a focus on the well-being of the children we serve. The processes that Mr. Waheed led us through were so valued that we have had Commissioners from various Policy Advisory Committees  specifically request his consultation on further educating stakeholders with whom we partner."





Lori A. Medina, MSW, Director, County of Santa Clara, Social Services Agency, Department of Family and Children's Services  

Working with Mr. Waheed has been a refreshing and revolutionary experience. Participating in these sessions has exceeded our expectations and successfully shifted the mindset of our staff to strive to create an equity-focused workplace. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with someone who has such deep compassion and will for justice. 

Tondra Talley

Wilson County Department of Social Services