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"It Starts With Me"

Join SUNY Oswego’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for a conversation with actor and activist Kendrick Sampson, as well as a performance by the SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir and readings reflecting MLK's life and legacy.

Kendrick's bio:

Kendrick Sampson is an actor, activist and advocate for justice. Growing up in the suburbs of Houston, Sampson gravitated to the arts and sought to bring to life nuanced portrayals of black men in his work. Sampson is best known for his performance on “The Vampire Diaries” (CW), “Gracepoint” (FOX), “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC), “White Famous” (Showtime), “Supernatural” (CW), “The Flash” (CW) and most recently his portrayal as Nathan in HBO’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy-nominated “Insecure.”

Sampson’s activism challenges by example to boldly use voices to uplift the
most vulnerable. With a primary focus on intersectional racial justice and undoing systemic oppression in the criminal legal system, Sampson formed BLD
PWR as a call to action and invitation to others to join him in taking a stand for social change. BLD PWR is an organization committed to taking action and how to do so in a healthy way. The ultimate goals are to build up the next wave of activists while providing resources and tools for equitable change on a grassroots level.

Sampson’s most recent film work in Channing Godfrey People’s “Miss Juneteenth” stirred headlines as a Sundance indie classic in 2020. The coming-of-age film explored an African-American family navigating life in Dallas while struggling to raise a teenage daughter. Sampson recently starred in Amazon’s holiday romantic film “Something From Tiffany’s,” the first feature from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.


Sampson’s work ethic, paired with a naturally charismatic personality, has propelled him as one to watch on and off the screen. Today, Sampson uses his voice to empower marginalized communities and shine a light on issues of inequity. His activism focuses on racial justice, specifically intersectionality within criminal justice transformation and working within Black, Brown and Indigenous communities to drive infrastructural change. He is a proud supporter of the Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter movements, progressive political campaigns and social justice education.

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