Nine days after his 19th birthday, Kahlil Greene was elected the first Black student body president in Yale’s 318-year history.
Kahlil Greene is from Germantown, MD, a place consistently ranked as one of the most diverse cities in America. Yet, growing up, he witnessed the differences spurred by systemic inequity. His majority Black and Hispanic public middle school were nicknamed the “Prison on the Hill” because of crumbling facilities and poor educational quality. His majority white and Asian magnet high school was ranked the No. 1 high school in Maryland year after year. This stark contrast ignited Greene’s lifelong passion to advocate for equity.
As a sophomore in college, he served as the Yale College Council’s (YCC) finance director, repairing the YCC’s relationship with students and teachers after the exposure of the previous administration’s embezzlement of student tuition fees. At the end of his sophomore year, he successfully ran to lead the undergraduate student government body.
Four days after Greene’s election, a Yale police officer shot at an unarmed Black woman and her husband, igniting a week of intense protests on Yale’s campus. In response to the incident, Greene stayed true to his campaign promises to be direct in critiques of Yale’s administration and actively supportive of student-led movements and protests—a hallmark of his presidency.
Greene’s term was extended to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the end of his year-and-a-half-long term, his administration’s successes included grassroots fundraising over $57,000 for racial justice organizations in one week; launching six affinity networks to increase racial, socioeconomic, and gender representation on the YCC; and creating the https://vote.yale.edu website to make information about voting and civic engagement extremely accessible for students.
Now, Greene is a Secretary John Kerry Fellow, a member of the prestigious Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, and a History of Social Change and Social Movements major. He has authored op-eds about education and racial equity in both the LA Times and Washington Post.
As a junior, Greene completed a summer internship with McKinsey and Company and later earned a Hall of Fame designation from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington for his fundraising and support of the nonprofit.
Greene is verified on Instagram and has over 150,000 followers and 5 million views on TikTok. He often engages in political discourse with social media influencers and users from all backgrounds.