Of Armenian descent, Marni Pilafian is a native Floridian and attended Interlochen Arts Academy, majoring in French horn, piano, and creative writing; she earned a Bachelor's in English literature, a Juris Doctorate, a Master of Education Administration, a Ph.D. in Higher Education with a planned dissertation in 2023. As director of the Legal Assistant Institute at Barry University for twenty-five years, Marni taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in the areas of business law along with legal and educational ethics. She trained students in legal writing and research, constitutional, contract, and real estate law.
As an advocate, Marni worked on behalf of children with special needs, the Equal Rights Amendment, reproductive freedom, Medicaid, teacher pay raises, the unhoused, gun safety, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and policies affecting rural families. She has written articles for ethnic newspapers and freelanced. In 2019, with a Member of Congress, she helped launch a “Democracy Summer Program” which invites high school and college students to take part in an intensive curriculum focused on leadership training, the history of social change in America, and best practices in political organizing. Marni participates in voter registration drives and has worked on numerous political campaigns. She estimates wearing twenty pairs of running shoes canvassing for reform!