The Hustlers Guild
Kevin Beckford is the co-founder of The Hustlers Guild, a nonprofit that uses hip hop to expand access and opportunity to Black and Latinx youth in the innovation space. The organization has exposed over 7,000 students to coding and workforce enrichment opportunities at organizations such as Facebook, Google, Sony Music, and Roc Nation.
He has also served as the Advancement Manager for Urban Assembly where he has supported policy and external outreach for the public school network. Beckford was a 2020 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.
From 2014-2016, Beckford worked as the domestic policy portfolio lead in the White House Presidential Correspondence Office under the Obama administration and as a special advisor to Secretary Julian Castro in the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. While working for the White House, he successfully advocated for more inclusive and responsive communication practices concerning race relations and police brutality.
“I am truly honored and humbled to receive the Caribbean Impact Award. As the son of Jamaican immigrants who strives to walk in the legacy of resilience and excellence set before me, I wake up every day, appreciative of the blessing it is to claim Caribbean culture as my culture.”
“The work that I do and my desire to use education to dismantle racial and socioeconomic disparities have been deeply shaped by my upbringing and my identity as an unapologetically black, Jamaican American. The plight to advance equity within often-overlooked fields like education and youth development can be tiresome and sometimes lonely, but it is worth it. I look forward to working with you and others to ensure that our students have access to the highest quality of education possible. I am so humbled by this recognition. Thank you.” said Beckford regarding receiving this award.
Prior to serving as a political appointee under the Obama administration, Beckford taught Social Studies and English to high school students in Philadelphia. He earned his B.A. in African American Studies and Political Science from Yale University, his MPhil. in African Studies from the University of Cambridge, and his MSc. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.