SMC alumus Malcolm Kenyatta wants to change the way people view North Philadelphia. Kenyatta, a North Philadelphia native, graduated from Temple with a Strategic Communication degree in 2012 and is now a community advocate.
Kenyatta will represent the 2nd Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention this July. He was elected to serve as a delegate during Pennsylvania's April Primaries. With 99 percent of the votes accounted for, Kenyatta snagged over 80,000 votes, giving him the second highest vote total for a delegate candidate in the state.
"I am so humbled by the amount of support I received," he said.
Kenyatta views the convention as an opportunity to advocate for North Philadelphia, but also to represent the 2nd District while possibly electing the Democratic party's first female presidential candidate.
"It is no doubt an opportunity to be a part of history," he said.
Kenyatta also plays an active role in his North Philadelphia community. He hosts events that tackle various neighborhood issues such as education funding , food and clothing drives, and block cleanups.
"I think sometimes we talk about people who live in poverty as though there's something wrong with them, but there's no character flaw. They're just poor," he said.
In February, Kenyatta hosted a meet and greet with candidates that were running for United States Senate at the TLO Event Complex. Representatives from the campaigns of state representative Brian Sims and democratic presidential candidates, among others spoke directly to local residents in the area.
"Center City Residents Association always gets the candidates to come, but it's very rare these candidates are coming to talk directly to my family and my neighborhood," he said. "And I thought that was an important step for them to hear directly from us about what our neighborhood wants."
Kenyatta, who is also a bike ambassador for Indigo Bike Share, got the company to set up five new bike stations around North Philadelphia in April and is working with them to set up even more stations in the future. He is also working on "Unleashing North Philadelphia"—a campaign to change the neighborhood's public image.
"This community has some challenges, but has the best people in the world," he said.
Being a community advocate is not all Kenyatta is known for. He works full time for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, where he connects members with other businesses and potential clients.
Before joining the Chamber of Commerce, Kenyatta was the campaign manager for Sherrie Cohen, who was running for City Council in 2015.