Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the actor, activist, and founder of co-founder of BLD PWR, an organization that seeks to dismantle racism in the entertainment industry, Kendrick Sampson.
Born and raised in Houston by a black father and white mother, Kendrick has been at the intersection of arts and activism since childhood. Before moving to Hollywood, the 31-year-old showed an early interest in civil rights reinforced by his socially conscious parents.
Becoming an actor changed nothing about Kendrick’s desire to create a better world for disenfranchised people; it emboldened him to do more. But with so many urgent causes to address in the current political, social, and environmental climates, Kendrick saw a need to streamline public figures’ efforts through an organized, educational process.
Shortly after arriving, at the age of 18, in Hollywood from his hometown of Houston, Texas, Kendrick Sampson joined the Robey Theatre Company, a nonprofit troupe dedicated to staging new plays written about the Black American experience. His time there galvanized the now 32-year-old actor, who, in addition to appearing in projects such as Insecure, The Vampire Diaries, How to Get Away with Murder, and Miss Juneteenth.
“I think that whatever privilege we have on this earth — whether it be the color of our skin or just male or straight or whatever — we’re supposed to use that to help liberate those who don’t have that privilege,”… “I always have to think that there are so many people who don’t have the platform; a lot of them who are doing the work every day and don’t necessarily have the same protection of platform. I use my platform to liberate those in my community. We’re on this earth, and at the end of the day, I think it matters more. We can go through life and not do anything, or we could do something. That’s pretty much it. We’re either complicit in oppression, or we’re not.”
Today we honor Kendrick Sampson as our Evolved Man of the Week.