Ajay Mani

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A Mani

Ajay Mani

Director of Partnerships & Community Engagement
Black College Success

In this role at Black College Success, Ajay Mani will increase the portfolio of partnerships, resources, and community partners while engaging BCS’s community involvement externally and internally.  He is motivated to work in education because of his love for exploration and learning from one another. 

Before LAPF, Mani was the Manager of Culture, Curriculum, and Instruction at the Sola Tech Center. He spent 7 years working in the Boys & Girls Clubs; and three years as Director of STEM programs at the BGC LA Harbor where he served on a racial equity task force which is now the Department of Civil Rights. During the pandemic and most of his undergrad, Mani worked as a pastry chef and consulted for restaurants to optimize the operations and their recipes to survive lockdown. 

First a Carson High freshman and then graduated from Narbonne High. Mani enrolled at El Camino Community College as an English major and Music Minor.  He then transferred to CSU Fullerton where he received his Bachelor of Applied Sciences (B.A.Sc..) in Biophysics with a Data Science minor. Further, he also received a BA in Music Composition, Theory & History with a minor in Digital Media Communication. In 2020, Mani completed his PhD in Ethnomusicology at CSUF where he researched Hip-Hop’s impact on innovation and black media, music, and global cultural impact. His Ph.D. also led him to explore the parallels between hip-hop & Indian classical percussion in practical theory. 

Mani is a member of Best Buddies International, Khalsa Aid International, and Islamic Relief USA. His hobbies include cooking, writing a cookbook, learning new instruments, playing music, and road trips.  His favorite books include: 

  • ‘Checklist Manifesto’ by Atul Gawande
  • ‘Paradox: the nine greatest enigmas in physics’ by Jim Al Khalili
  • ‘Words like loaded pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama’ by Sam Leith

“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then, we are up for grabs for the next charlatan (political or religious) who comes rambling along.” – Carl Sagan.