About Rafi

Rafi (Hugh) Peterson, President and CEO 

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“Allah is the best of planners. If I hadn’t went through what I went through yesterday, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

Project Restore Industries is the brainchild of Rafi (Hugh) Peterson. Brother Rafi started Project Restore Industries because he saw the problems that formerly incarcerated people and the communities they come from face everyday.  For example, he saw how difficult it was to hire someone to make improvements on your home or feel secure and safe on the block where you live.  He also saw the importance of employing ex-offenders- “who is going to give us a start but us?.”  This gave him a sense of obligation to make things right in the community where he lives on the Southwest side of Chicago.

Brother Rafi also brings over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector sector. He has worked as the Street Outreach Director for the Southwest Organizing Project, as an employee of Ceasefire Chicago, and as a employee and later Board Member of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).  He has also  worked as a mentor at Marquette Elementary School and Cook County Jail Div.11 Maximum Security.  He is the recipient of the following awards: Community Heroes Award from Local Initiative Support Corporation; the Making a Difference Recognition Award from Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN); State Department Nominated Member to Represent the US Delegation to the Netherlands; as well as the Serving, Community Award from Holy Cross Hospital.

For more about Brother Rafi’s life experience and perspectives,  listen to the audio interview at http://awaheed.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/ordinarily-extraordinary-rafi-peterson-transcends-labels-builds-a-legacy/