Akil West is a Los Angeles native entrepreneur, master gardener, author, and profound community advocate. West was incarcerated for 15 years when he made the choice to turn his life around and committed his life’s work to rebuilding his community and developing opportunities for people of color. West is the founder of Black Owned and Operated Community Land Trust, a community-based initiative dedicated to stabilizing predominated Black neighborhoods and underserved communities through building awareness and community leadership surrounding the issues of housing, transportation and recreation, and economic opportunity.
West is also the CEO and founder of Sole Folks, a nonprofit retail hub located in the heart of the historical Leimert Park Village that is dedicated to cultivating Black entrepreneurship and creativity for underserved populations through innovative programming, mentorship, and financial support. Currently, West is the Treasurer of the Leimert Park Village Merchants Association and Principal at New Black Wallstreet.