Efraín Marimón is an Associate Teaching Professor at The Pennsylvania State University in the College of Education. Efraín develops community-embedded programs related to social justice, human rights, law, and education. He is the director of the Restorative Justice Initiative and the D.C. Social Justice Teaching Fellowship and founded the Street Law Program at Penn State Law. He also conducts training on law-related education for international groups.
Efraín is the founder and director of “The Restorative Justice Initiative” (RJI). RJI is a group of faculty members, graduate students, and stakeholders dedicated to restoring and empowering incarcerated individuals by providing programming and educational opportunities in multiple correctional facilities in Pennsylvania. RJI’s interdisciplinary team has worked to create quality curricula and has several volunteer faculty members and graduate students teaching courses in multiple correctional facilities. It currently partners with the Centre County Correctional Facility and State Correctional Institution – Benner Township to support and enhance existing reentry initiatives and develop educational programs. It has worked with hundreds of incarcerated individuals and coordinated or supported programs like a holiday card collection and letter-writing campaigns.
Efraín is also the founder and director of the D.C. Social Justice Teaching Fellowship. The fellowship is a collaborative project between the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Office of Multicultural Programs, and Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. It is a highly coveted two-semester, a credit-bearing program that combines theoretical analysis with hands-on clinical explorations of law, education, policy, and systems of inequity through a field experience teaching students in under-resourced schools in Washington, D.C. Efraín also teaches, supervises and supports law students in the Street Law Program, where law students teach law-related lessons on the constitution and human rights to middle school students and high school students in the State College Area School District and Bellefonte Area School District.
Part of Efraín’s work includes developing, maintaining, and supporting community partnerships in and outside of Centre County. Efraín has partnered with local schools like the Delta Program and State High, the Hawaii State Judiciary and Hawaii Department of Education, and several international organizations. These projects support the development of curriculum materials, professional development, training, or coursework for in-service or pre-service teachers, lawyers, and civic leaders. Similarly, Efrain has partnered with The Law Society of Scotland, the University of Hong Kong’s Human Rights Clinic, and the U.S-Russia Social Enterprise Exchange to train law students and civic leaders on best practices in law-related education. Efraín has also led sessions for The American Bar Association’s Committee on Law-Related Education; The National Council for Social Studies (N.C.S.S.); UK Conference on Street Law; and the Global Alliance for Justice Education (G.A.J.E.).
Before working for Penn State, Efraín was a teaching fellow and adjunct professor for the Street Law Clinic at Georgetown Law. At the Street Law Clinic, Efraín selected, trained, and supervised J.D. students who taught curricula to high school students throughout Washington, D.C. Efraín also co-taught a summer clinic at Georgetown Law that supervised instructors teaching adults in various settings: correctional facilities; treatment centers for alcohol, drug, or HIV; homeless shelters; halfway houses; and other community centers. He also managed instructional and programmatic responsibilities at Georgetown Law for a program called After School Kids (ASK), a youth diversion program for court-involved youth.
Before working for Georgetown Law, Efraín clerked for the Miami-Dade School Board Attorney and the General Counsel for Florida’s Department of Education. He earned his J.D. from Nova Southeastern University Law, where he graduated with honors. He received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Georgetown Law and is licensed to practice law in Florida. Before law school, Efraín earned his M.S.Ed. in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught Social Studies and Literacy in Philadelphia, worked as a Curriculum Specialist for Teach for America, and frequently led professional development for his school and school district. During his time in Philadelphia, Efraín was awarded the “Top 100 Teachers” recognition by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and presented a formal commendation by the School District of Philadelphia’s Superintendent for “Exemplary Community Leadership.”