|About Rai-Tonicia King
|July 16, 1981
|Shaun King September 2001 - Present
|Taeyonna, Kendi, Ezekiel, Zayah, Savannah
|Arizona State University, Spelman College, Henry Clay High School
|Married to the Movement
Rai King has been with her husband, Shaun King, for well over two decades and married for 18 years. So, there’s no one who knows him better. There have been several attempts to discredit the civil rights activist, and his wife has always been there to support him and slam his naysayers. The couple, who host the Married to the Movement podcast, have countless supporters who are inspired by their relationship. Rai often supports Shaun from the sidelines, but she is equally deserving of the spotlight, which we turn on Shaun King’s wife in our Rai King wiki.
Rai King Is an Elementary School Educator
Rai-Tonicia King was born on July 16, 1981 to Toni Johnson. The Lexington, Kentucky native graduated from Henry Clay High School, going on to attend Spelman College in Atlanta. Shaun King was also a student in Atlanta, at Morehouse.
Rai majored in early childhood development, elementary education, and teaching at Spelman before graduating in 2004. She taught at schools in Atlanta, Georgia and even had a brief stint as a trainer and curriculum planner in Cape Town, South Africa.
In recent years, Rai has taught in schools in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York. She’s also the director of a non-profit, City Year, which helps students and schools optimize education.
Rai returned to school to study curriculum and instruction at Arizona State University. She graduated with a master’s degree in education in 2017.
Her mom, Toni Johnson, also returned to college, attending BCTC Bluegrass Community Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky.
Rai and Shaun King Are High School Sweethearts
Shaun King met his future wife in church. They began dating when he was a senior in high school. Shaun went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, while Rai completed her final two years of high school back in Kentucky.
Shaun King, C'2001, & Rai-Tonicia King, C'2003We were high school sweethearts in Kentucky. We met at church and began…
Rai was something of a rebellious teen and once lied to her mom about staying at a friend’s house when she had actually traveled to Atlanta to spend the weekend with Shaun. After making their long-distance relationship work, Rai joined him in Atlanta when she got accepted to Spelman.
Rai was a junior in college when they married on September 22, 2001. She was 20 and pregnant at the time. So, they had a small wedding at their local pastor’s house, with two of Rai’s friends as witnesses.
Rai King supports Shaun King in his activism and advocates for civil rights and education rights herself. Together, they also host the podcast, Married to the Movement.
Rai and Shaun King Fostered Kids and Had Biological Children
Rai went through her first pregnancy while balancing her academics. Meanwhile, Shaun took an extra job as airport security in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
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Today, on Father’s Day, I want to reintroduce myself to the world. You all know me as many things, but more than any of those roles, I cherish being a father of FIVE wonderful children that I love with my whole heart. So much of my fight to change the world is inspired by my hope to make it better for them. I’m 40 years old now, but I have literally been a dad for my entire adult life. @MrsRaiKing and I were still students at Spelman and Morehouse when we had our first baby. I’ve been with Rai since we were 15 & 16 years old. We now have 2 kids older than we were when we first fell in love. I can hardly remember not being a father. When we first started, as broke college students, we were in WAY over our heads. Food stamps and Medicaid got us through. And student loan refunds. Rai was pregnant when 9/11 happened – and I was able to get a job doing airport security the next week to support ourselves. I was one of the most known student leaders in Atlanta, and had to really humble myself, and drop my ego, to begin providing for our sweet little family. @MrsRaiKing and I have 3 birth children, Kendi, EZ, and Savannah. Our oldest, Taeyonna, and our youngest, Zayah, are actually our biological nieces. But Zayah has lived with us since the day she was born and Taeyonna, who is now 20, and a junior in college, has been with us since she was just 5 years old. They call us mom and dad, of course, and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. Nobody has big families like ours in New York! 😂😂😂 We didn’t know. When we first moved to New York, all 7 of us lived in a ONE BEDROOM apartment. It’s all we could afford. But we were actually sooooo happy. I’m about to run out of space here, but I just wanted you to see that a HUGE part of my life is being a father. I’ve never said this in public before, but I made a pledge to my wife and kids that I would go out of my way to stay alive as a leader in this movement. We have life insurance, of course, but I want to be here for them. And I make a lot of decisions on where I go and what I do, with this in mind. Happy Father’s Day to every father out there. I’m in your corner!
Their first biological child, Kendi, was born on March 18, 2002. Kendi, who celebrated her 18th birthday and high school graduation at home, is a playwright and poet on her way to study film-making at NYU.
The Kings have two other biological kids, their son Ezekiel (born in 2006) and daughter, Savannah (born on January 30, 2009).
Their eldest daughter, Taeyonna, was born on September 16, 1999. She is Shaun’s biological niece. Taeyonna’s birth mom had her as a teen and, even though Shaun and Rai were college students themselves, they regularly helped out in raising Taeyonna.
Shaun and Rai adopted Taeyonna when she was five and raised her alongside their biological children. Taeyonna has all the potential to be a filmmaker, earning accolades for an anti-drug PSA film she created when she was only 15.
Their other adopted daughter, Zayah, is also Shaun’s biological niece. She has been raised by the Kings since she was born on October 9, 2013, before they officially adopted her.
They were also foster parents to other nieces and nephews, Elijah, Sakiah, and Ethan.
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