Ordained Minister of the Gospel | Re-entry Coordinator
Motivational Speaker | Employment Specialist | Orator
Radio & TV Personality | Bible Instructor | GCDF
Hasan Kalem Zarif is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He had a strong Christian upbringing. Though he dropped out of high school, he became a W.A.N.T radio personality at the age 16. He was nominated by then Governor Linwood Holton and appointed by President Richard Nixon to the 1970-71 White House Conference on Youth. At age 20, Mr. Zarif’s life took a negative turn. He committed a crime and was incarcerated at the Virginia State Penitentiary. He was sentenced to a term of life. He worked diligently while incarcerated and obtained both his GED and a Certification in Business Management from the Elizabeth Bryant School of Business Technology. He also successfully completed numerous biblical and religious studies courses.
Mr. Zarif served nearly 17 years and then based on extraordinary progress and commendations from Wardens and community leaders he was paroled in 1989. He was successfully discharged from all parole obligations in 2001. His Civil Rights were restored by the Honorable Governor Timothy Kaine in 2007. Mr. Zarif received a Simple Pardon from Governor Kaine on December 21, 2009. Gov. Kaine wrote, “Mr. Zarif’s life story is an inspiration to persons who are incarcerated and an excellent example of rehabilitation.”
In 1992 Mr. Zarif began serving as a religious volunteer in the Virginia Department of Corrections. During the mid-90’s Mr. Zarif served as the Director of Prison Ministries for the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church in Richmond, VA. He was then elected to the position of Executive General Vice President of Prison Ministries for the Allegheny East Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He served in a number of positions in community organizations and received numerous awards and commendations for his work in the fields of prison ministry and public safety.
From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Zarif worked as a Case Manager for the Richmond Community Action/Virginia CARES, Inc. program. In this capacity he assisted offenders with various re-entry needs (including housing, employment, treatment programs, etc.). He worked closely with state and local community corrections/ parole staff to ensure a smooth transition for offenders as they returned to their communities. He also began regularly speaking and teaching in various DOC prisons’ Productive Citizenship (life skills) programs. Due to his ongoing work as both an instructional and religious volunteer, the Department of Corrections in 2001 granted Mr. Zarif the status of Regional Volunteer, allowing him to expand his work into DOC prisons in both the Central and Eastern Regions. In 2007,
Mr. Zarif became a State-Wide Volunteer allowing him to enter all state prisons.
In 2001, Mr. Zarif joined the staff of Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia, Inc. as Program Manager of the Medical Adaptive Equipment Program. In this capacity, one of his duties was to assist offenders discharging from the Department of Corrections who had a need for medical equipment. In January of 2007, Mr. Zarif was appointed as the Re-entry Coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia, Inc. Through a new agreement between Goodwill Industries and Chaplain Service and Prison Ministry, Inc., Chaplain Zarif also began serving as Special Projects Coordinator for Chaplain Service. In this role, he serves as a liaison between Richmond area churches and Chaplain Service. Mr. Zarif is passionate about getting churches and individuals more involved in ministry to offenders. He has spent more than 30 years rebuilding his community as well as becoming an Advocate for non-violence, restoration of rights, and reentry programs. Mr. Zarif has received 1OO plus awards & letters of commendation and recommendations in recognition of his achievements. In 2012, the Owner and President of WCLM, 1450 a.m., Mr. Preston Brown and King Salim Khalfani, Executive Director of the VA State Conference NAACP, spearheaded an awards program to recognize 30 years of Community Service & Prison Ministry achieved by Mr. Zarif. Numerous awards including one from The Honorable Governor Robert McDonnell, The Honorable Mayor Dwight Jones, and the Director of the Va. Department of Corrections Harold Clarke and a host of other supporters. Zarif received the Employee of the Year Award (Spirit of the Mission) from Goodwill Industries and the Leadership Award from the VA State Conference NAACP in 2012.