Malcolm Kenyatta is third-generation North Philadelphian and a fierce civic and community advocate. He has been working to change outcomes in the neighborhood in which he was born,raised, and he’s called home for all of his twenty-seven years. Malcolm was born to the late Kelly and Malcolm J. Kenyatta and raised in north central Philadelphia with his three siblings. He is a product of the public school system and graduated from Temple University with a major in public communications and minor in political science.
Civic engagement runs in his blood as the grandson of Muhammad Kenyatta, a civil rights leader, minister, and local politician who ran for mayor in 1975. Malcolm got his first start in community activism at the young age of 11 when he ran for junior block captain. He wrote and won a city wide essay contest with a simple message that is the driving force behind this campaign: “we can’t sit idly by when we recognize barriers in our communities, we have to do something about them.” Malcolm has dutifully served as a member of numerous nonprofit and political organizations including Liberty City Democratic Club, Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, the Philadelphia Chapter of National Organization for Women’s Education Fund, and Equality PA.
In 2016, Malcolm was elected as Delegate to the 2016 Democratic Convention (PA 2nd) with just under 82,000 votes, garnering the second highest vote total of any delegate in the Commonwealth. He has appeared on local and national outlets talking about the need to address systemic poverty, making education from daycare to college more affordable, and making government more accountable to its citizens, especially low-income families. More recently, he has been a loud voice pushing back against this administration’s racist, homophobic, sexist, and hateful priorities of Donald Trump which the GOP in Harrisburg have embraced and attempted to replicate.
The impact he’s made as an activist and political consultant have been felt not only in his neighborhood, but city, state and nation wide. His work to date has been laser-focused on removing barriers to progress for struggling communities by speaking up for the marginalized and the working poor members of his community at rallies, vigils, block cleanups, and more. Malcolm has been the recipient of a number of local and national honors for his work, including the Lax Award (Bread and Roses Foundation), BMe Leader Award (BMe Community/Knight Foundation), Society Light Award (Black Pride), Friends of the Urban Affairs Coalition Leadership Award and the Congressman Lucien Blackwell Guiding Light Award.
It’s his vision and passion for North Philadelphia that inspired him to run for State Representative. Too often, when North Philly is mentioned its about our decay and deficits. However, there is no lack of possibility in North Philadelphia – just a lack of resources. Malcolm believes all neighbors deserve schools that teach, jobs that provide quality wages, and affordable housing. When we remove the barriers North Philly can reach its full potential!