Education, Partner Spotlights

Get Closer: Chris Chatmon of Kingmakers of Oakland

We invite you to join us as we get closer to the breakthrough social entrepreneurs behind organizations tackling entrenched social challenges and transforming systems in America. Through this short video, we get closer to the mountaintop through the CEO and co-founder of Kingmakers of Oakland, Chris Chatmon's powerful story of self-discovery and leadership.

By Delanoe Johnson, New Profit

July 27, 2022

This summer, we traveled to the Bay Area to learn more about Chris Chatmon, CEO and Co-Founder of Kingmakers of Oakland, and his origin story. Kingmakers of Oakland (KOO) is a community collective of extraordinary people who are committed to improving the system, structure, condition, and culture that— when sustained—lead to improved education and life outcomes for Black boys. By leveraging the power of music, culture, and art, KOO is “crowning” their young Kings and positioning them to succeed in life. 

KOO music is produced to “ENGAGE, ENCOURAGE and EMPOWER.” They create high-quality music with lyrics that inspire others and highlight authentic stories of grit, perseverance, and achievements. “Mountaintop,” track six from their latest album, “Black Joy,” showcases their exceptional talent while reminding us of the famous Dr. Martin Luther King speech, renowned by many as one of the most influential moments in the civil rights movement. 

The mountaintop is a metaphor for realizing the mission, the destination, and seeing a path towards a better future. In our time with Chris and KOO, it became clear that they’re moving in the spirit of ancestors, carrying on the work that Dr. King started, and inspiring the next generation to continue the pursuit of discovering the promised land.

We invite you to get closer to the mountaintop with Chris Chatmon and Kingmakers of Oakland, learn more about Chris’s journey to the work, and hear how KOO is leveraging partnerships to support their vision to scale in the city of Oakland and beyond.

To learn more about Kingmakers of Oakland, visit:


Check out these additional KOO resources:

Content Created and Curated by KOO Youth

Content Profiling KOO’s Journey and Work:

  • Original docu-series (5-part docuseries that chronicles the birth of OUSD AAMA)
  • Kings in the Making documentary (17-minute documentary via 11 chapters detailing the AAMA to KOO transformation)
  • Portraits of a King video series (Chronicles KOO’s work from the classroom to the boardroom)

Kingmakers of Oakland Street Team Events:

The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): TFI is a JPMorgan Chase program that KOO delivers in Oakland, delivering academic support, leadership development and African-centered curriculum to young men of color. The three-year program focuses on increasing college access and success among a cohort of young men of color. KOO has the capacity to serve 40 youth and has already enlisted 32 10th grade scholars. On three Saturdays a month, these young people meet with KOO Program Manger, Obasi Davis. The program focuses on academic advising, college and career preparation, mentorship, brotherhood, financial literacy and professional and leadership development. Young Kings have the opportunity to envision their college careers, tour college campuses, prepare mentally and academically for college, and receive tutoring to ensure they have the grades they need to gain admittance into the college of their dreams. Notably, Mr. Davis rose through the AAMA program as a youth leader himself, creating the AAMA summer internship as a teen in 2014.

Kingmakers of Oakland linktree – Click the link to access some of KOO’s musical assets