News and Events
Pepperdine Hosts Actor and Minister Leon Isaac Kennedy
The Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture (EMC) will partner with D.R.E.A.M. (“Dramatically Reconstructing Education through African-American Men”) team to host actor, entrepreneur, and minister Leon Isaac Kennedy on Tuesday, Jan. 15, for a talk titled, “How to Manifest Success in Today’s Shifting Times.” The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hahn Fireside Room, Malibu.
As an actor, writer, and producer in films like Penitentiary series and Body and Soul, Kennedy developed an international fan base. Through Kennedy's Healing Love Ministries, he has spoken to students and churches around the world. He partnered with Smokey Robinson to launch a line of foods noted for "The Soul is in the Bowl."
Kennedy started in radio as a disc jockey at 16. By age 19, he wrote, produced and hosted his own TV show, Outta Sight. By age 24, Kennedy was producing major motion pictures. He has written and/or starred in Penitentiary 1, 2, and 3; Body and Soul with Muhammad Ali and Jayne Kennedy; Lone Wolfe McQuade with Chuck Norris, and many others, and his films have brought in over 150 million dollars.
However, at the top of his career, he walked away from the industry. He spent his time instead speaking, visiting detention centers, drug rehabilitation centers, homes for unwed mothers, churches, and hundreds of prisons. On his website, Kennedy explains, "The Hollywood film business and movie making process has always been one of my great loves. However, positively impacting the lives of others is far more significant than winning any Hollywood trophy, and the only way I can significantly help someone is through Jesus!"
Says EMC director, Craig Detweiler, "I have such vivid memories of Leon's heroic screen persona. He embodies so many of the leadership skills that the men D.R.E.A.M. are putting into practice. What a great opportunity for the Pepperdine community to interact with a role model who has navigated the heights of Hollywood, the possibilities of entrepreneurship, and the importance of ministry."
D.R.E.A.M. is was founded in October 2009 by 10 African American male students at Pepperdine, who sought to address the problems of diversity and inequitable academic norms on college campuses.
For more information about this event, call 310.506.6314 or visit the EMC website.