Meet Khalil Houston

Alumni Profile

Reynolds Alum Khalil Houston is a dynamic creative force who explores the depths of human experience with profound insight and raw vulnerability. As a spoken-word artist, writer, and photographer, he has cultivated a skill set that allows him to express his unique perspective on life and emotions through various artistic mediums. These mediums include not only spoken and written word, but photography, videography, and the role of a community activist in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, where he's committed to working with youth to inspire them to find and use their voices.

Young black man in braids and red shirt playfully points at camera against a colorful graffiti background.Even as a child, Khalil embodied the essence of creative thought and expression through his writing. His introduction to poetry started at the age of 10 when he was assigned to perform a poem in front of his class.

A year later Khalil's life took a turn following the tragic loss of his brother and cousins in a triple homicide. Poetry transformed into an integral lifeline for him. As the years unfolded and his pursuit of poetry continued, Khalil attended Reynolds Community College and received his Associate Degree in Science there. He then went on to VCU to work toward his Bachelor of Art in English.

Throughout school and beyond, he continues to perform his poetry. His passion for poetry was his lifeline and gave him the means and strength to achieve his goal. When reflecting on his college years and the challenges he faced, his advice to students is to “Find your ‘Why?’ and remind yourself of your ‘Why?’ when times get tough.”

As a spoken-word artist, Khalil commands the stage with his magnetic presence and compelling delivery. His performances are characterized by their hard topics, emotional depth, and thought-provoking themes. With a hard-hitting rhythm and an innate understanding of the power of spoken language, his subjects explore difficult topics, reflecting his own life and culture, and that of his contemporaries.

His ability to express complex emotions and ideas allows him to inspire, educate, and provoke meaningful conversations on a range of topics that resonate with people from all walks of life.
Khalil brings his poetry to life, inviting audiences to join him on a journey of introspection and self-discovery.

Driven by an unwavering commitment, Khalil has extended his influence beyond artistic expression. He's evolved into a photographer who captures moments with a unique perspective; a videographer who tells stories through the lens; and a passionate community activist deeply rooted in Richmond's cultural fabric.

However, Khalil's impact extends even further. With resolute determination, he has dedicated himself to working with youth, inspiring them to unearth and harness the power of their voices. He now works with youth in Communities in Schools of Richmond, an organization that supports students, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. There, Khalil empowers young minds, nurturing their confidence to express themselves and encouraging them to make their voices heard.

In Khalil Houston, we find not just a spoken word artist, but a living testament to the transformative power of art and resilience. From the seeds of a childhood assignment, he has bloomed into a beacon of creative inspiration, a catalyst for change, and a guiding light for the youth he mentors.

Follow Khalil on Instagram @khalil_houston