Born to two extremely hardworking and proud Pan-African entrepreneurs hailing from Costa Rica (his father) and Jamaica (his mother) Osei moved to Liberia, as a very young child, with his parents who believed the African continent was the only  place in which they could instill a true sense of freedom and pride in their children. Osei was raised on his parents’ three step equation for success: Learn. Comprehend. Master.
An essential equation for their survival and success as Black entrepreneurs, an equation that was the very essence of survival for those of us within the African diaspora. As Osei puts it, it is the ability to quickly adapt (Learn), comprehend the lesson, and then master the lesson. That is precisely the mindset our ancestors had to develop as they came out of slavery.  

It also was the mindset of his parents as they later had to escape the Liberian Civil War, leaving everything behind which included three retail stores and a clothing manufacturing company and return to the United States where they had to start with nothing in a new land. They were eventually able to own and operate the first mass-produced Black toy line, Huggy Bean doll. Ever since he was young, the importance of ownership as well as being able to produce and manufacture was instilled into Osei as he watched his parents work long, hard hours––day in and day out––to build their business. Having a hard work ethic was not Osei’s only life lesson; his parents also taught him the importance of staying connected to not only his Black heritage and culture but most importantly to his community.

During our discussion Rubie simply stated, “Black wealth is absolutely tied to Black empowerment, I am unaware of any movement that did not have an economic background.” In the earlier examples of our discussion, we can see how Africans, post slavery, were able to flourish economically which then in return allowed them to empower their communities.

The Osei Rubie Charitable Fund (oseirubiecharitablefund.com ) was launched last year as the philanthropic arm of Osei’s thriving business, National Standard Abstract (NSA), a family owned and Black-owned title insurance firm that in just four years has established themselves as a leader in the title insurance industry. Now in its fifth year, National Standard Abstract has become a vital hub for real estate industry professionals of African descent to connect, exchange ideas and generate new business. As a fifteen-year title insurance industry veteran, Osei has worked closely with real estate agents, brokers, and developers; faith-based leaders; lawyers; and lenders in the states of New York and New Jersey. He credits his entrepreneurial success to relationships that have evolved into partnerships. Every residential, commercial or faith-based development project undertaken is an investment into the Fund, creating new opportunities for the leaders of today and tomorrow to excel.

“Our greatest achievement in life is the inheritance that we leave behind for our children. Yet, our ancestors were stripped of their independence, identity, traditions and wealth. As a father, I wanted to create new pathways that would empower us as descendants of Africa to reclaim and rebuild what was lost in the past 400 years.”

Through the fund, Osei has given over $100,000.00 to support various community empowerment efforts such as the $25,000 donation made to his alma mater HBCU Lincoln University. This donation created the Osei Rubie Technology Scholarship––for 10 years, from 2019 through 2029, a student based on financial need and a minimum 2.75 GPA will be awarded a new Mac Book Pro; this scholarship answered the challenge of the digital divide for Black students and gives them the ability to compete with other peers outside of their race. Other donations included the Rosedale Jets uniform purchase, Future Leaders of Jamaica student scholarships, the Dr. Joan Maynard Lecture Series at Weeksville Heritage Center, student travel for participants of the Growing4ward Newark City Mentorship Program and college scholarships for participants of the Chionesu Bakari Mentorship Program in East New York, Brooklyn.

Most recently in response to the coronavirus epidemic and the need to immediately switch to remote learning for  the 1.2 million students attending New York City Public Schools, Osei is arranging with Yvonne Thevenot, executive director of STEM kidsNYC (a Black-owned education company that teaches students how to code, engineer, design, and engage in science in experiential learning methods, robotics and creative technologies) to fund the purchase of 32 chromebooks for students attending the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Harlem. This will assist in the technological divide that Black children face with their peers by allowing them to apply the essential equation of learn, comprehend and master, so that they will be able to compete in the fields and industries being birthed through the computer sciences.

Through the Fund, Osei has been able to empower families of all sizes and economic backgrounds by expanding access to supportive services, scholarships, mentoring, and career development. He hopes his Fund will serve as a blueprint to establish a pipeline for young, seasoned, and retired professionals to make monetary contributions to organizations and impart their life experiences towards building a better tomorrow.

It would be wise to say that Osei is not only following in the footsteps of his parents, but all of those before us who have worked hard and endeavored to “pay it forward,” empowering the next generations to come. For this energy and work he is absolutely worthy of the Black New Yorker title.