Activist, Writer, Speaker
Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. The Jersey City product of a single mother, absent father, horrific poverty, and violence, he was able to study at Rutgers University in his home state of New Jersey due to the Educational Opportunity Fund created during the Civil Rights Movement. Says Kevin, “Just to be able to get to college, to be exposed to a new world, a new way, changed my life forever, and I am forever grateful to the EOF program for giving me a chance.” Kevin has gone on to be a writer who has penned articles, essays, and blogs for a wide range of newspapers and magazines and major websites, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, ESPN, Essence, Ebony, Rolling Stone, Esquire, HuffPost, and Vibe, where he was a senior writer and founding staff member. In recent months Kevin has written British GQ cover stories on Black Panther movie co-stars Michael B. Jordan (March 2018) and Chadwick Boseman (October 2018), and currently hosts an Apple Podcast called “One on One with Kevin Powell.” Kevin is the author of 13 books, including his critically acclaimed autobiography, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood, which is being adapted for television. One of his upcoming books will be a biography of Tupac Shakur, who Kevin interviewed many times while working for Vibe. As an activist, Kevin is also a cofounder of BK Nation, a new American organization and website focused on civil and human rights and equal opportunity for all people. And he ran for Congress in New York City in 2008 and 2010. In terms of content creation, Kevin is one of the producers of “SHE, a Choreoplay,” a major theater production about ending violence against women and girls, and healing and empowerment, created by his wife Jinah Parker, the dancer, choreographer, and playwright. SHE will make its Off-Broadway debut in the second half of 2019. Kevin and his wife are proud and long-time residents of Brooklyn, New York.