Kenneth Gerald Shelton Jr.

Activist, Leader, and Public Speaker in New York

Kenneth Gerald Shelton Jr.

Activist, Leader, and Public Speaker in New York

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Kenneth Shelton Jr. was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, moved to New York at the young age of 17. Shelton is an activist and community organizer based in Jamaica, Queens, where his mother came from. Mr. Shelton has devoted his life to his passion, which is helping people.

Kenneth started as an organizer by becoming a part of the Campaign to Shut Down Rikers which pushed for closing Rikers Island, NYC’s main jail complex; and Raise the Age, a public awareness campaign for fair and effective criminal justice policies, that improve outcomes for children and public safety. This experience led to stressing the intersectionality of how the state commits violence, from educational segregation to mass incarceration.

In the professional world, Kenneth has registered hundreds of New Yorkers to vote through the New York City Campaign Finance Board, joined the United Nations Women’s working group on gender equality, and serves as a national advisor for Young Progressives Demanding Action, among other things.

An accomplished organizer as well, Kenneth aims to shift the focus to helping those who have been at the bottom of the political, social, and economic ladder in this country; that being black and brown people.

Regardless of origin, politics influences the daily lives of citizens from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races and ethnic origins. He strongly believes that it is important to use politics in ways of fostering a sense of cooperation and encouraging communication and acceptance among citizens of our great nation and nations across the world.

Through his Queens and citywide activism, he (with others) is a partner in the fight against gentrification, the dismantling of Broken Windows, electoral reform, healthcare justice and single payer reform, environmental and food justice, and the fight against police brutality. He, along with Black Lives Matter New York, is part of the Queens Coalition, the Jackson Heights Immigrant Solidarity Network, and other organizing collectives which serve the people in the Queens community.

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  • Education
    • St. John's University