Zeke Cohen - District 1
100 Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Zeke Cohen grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of a social worker and a psychiatrist. Zeke's belief that "community comes first," was inspired by his mother's stories of marching for Civil Rights, and registering voters during the Mississippi Freedom Summer.
At eighteen, Zeke moved to Baltimore to study political science at Goucher College. Active on campus and in the community, Zeke worked to reconnect Goucher with Baltimore City. As Student Government Association President, he created the Social Justice Grant Program, which continues to fund student-led, community-based projects in Baltimore.
After college Zeke joined Teach For America and taught middle school social studies in West Baltimore. Teaching in a neighborhood that had been devastated by joblessness, middle class flight, and the War on Drugs, gave Zeke a deep appreciation for the role that local government can play in revitalizing struggling communities. During his first spring break as an educator, he brought a group of eighth graders on a service trip to New Orleans. For most of his students, this trip was their first experience leaving Baltimore. Despite the culture shock and having grown up in similarly challenging circumstances, his students rallied to rebuild a home that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The trip led Zeke to recognize young people must play a leadership role in moving our city and our country forward. After Teach for America, Zeke attained a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins with a focus on improving cities. As a grad-student Zeke founded his own non-profit, The Intersection.
Zeke started The Intersection with two fellow teachers to empower the next generation of young leaders. He saw that in order to move Baltimore forward, we must view our young people as agents of positive change. The program takes inner-city high school kids and teaches them college readiness and civic leadership skills. In the past three years Zeke’s students have helped pass two laws: The Maryland Dream Act and the Maryland Firearm Safety Act. They have given speeches in Annapolis, at the United States Department of Education, and in Mumbai India. To date, all ten Intersection graduates have gone on to attend college with scholarships. Zeke will apply the skills of leadership, collaboration and fiscal responsibility that he learned running a non-profit to our city government.
Zeke’s work has been featured in numerous publications including the Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Business Journal, WYPR, The Washington Post and Ozy Magazine. He was named one of MD’s Top Twenty Leaders in Their Twenties, and won the We Are The Dream Award for service from the Baltimore Youth Commission. Zeke is proud to own a home in Canton.