Kalimah Priforce is just a kid from Brooklyn making “hackathon” a household word in every community as Headmaster CEO of Qeyno Labs – a leader in harnessing the STEM interests of high potential youth from low-opportunity settings through their “Hackathon Academy,” an inclusive innovation school that prepares youth and their mentors to build web and mobile apps that hack isolation and accelerate opportunities.
At eight years old, KalimahPriforce held a successful hunger strike against his Brooklyn group home to add more books to its library, which drew the attention of a community of Buddhist monks and nuns who privately tutored him until the age of 14.
He left both the group home and the Buddhist order as a lost teenager, but in Harlem, NY, legendary educator Dr. Lorraine Monroe discovered and mentored his potential to be an innovator. By 16, Kalimah started his first tech startup that primarily served low income neighborhoods and the elderly. In 2000, his younger brother was shot and killed behind their childhood elementary school, inspiring Kalimah to accept his Bodhisattva path to transform children’s lives towards mindfulness of their purpose and hack their own isolation.
From providing Oakland with its first Startup Weekend to launching hackathons for Prince, Essence, and Pres. Obama’s “My Brothers Keeper”, hackathons powered by Qeyno are bringing tomorrow’s talent into today’s tech with an inclusive vision that truly lives up to Dr. King’s dream.
Kalimah has been featured on the cover of USA Today, the MSNBC mini-doc, “Swimming in Their Genius”, the indie award winning film “Code Oakland” and recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change. He is a 2013 Echoing Green fellow, a StartingBloc Fellow, College Board Professional Fellow, Hive Global Leader, and Millennial Trains Project 2015 participant.