April R. Silver

April R. Silver photo

April R. Silver (Iyanifa Alake Osunsaje Oladele) is a communications and marketing strategist, cultural arts curator, and social justice activist. She founded AKILA WORKSONGS in 1993 and is widely respected for creating impactful social justice and cultural awareness campaigns for progressive people of all ages. Her esteemed clients have ranged from aspiring artists to multi-national philanthropic foundations.

Over the years, the native New Yorker has been mentioned or featured in Ms. ESSENCE, EBONY, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Lurie Daniel Favors Show (SiriusXM), Roland Martin Unfiltered (Black Star Network), CNN, BET, and countless other outlets around the country and globally. She is a founding television talk show host of BET Network’s My Two Cents (2006).

Silver edited her first book, Be a Father to Your Child, which HuffPost Black Voices called a “powerful and groundbreaking anthology.” In 2023, she contributed to African Voices magazine’s special tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip hop, guest edited by GRAMMY Nominated writer of international acclaim, Kevin Powell. That same year, Silver was invited to teach SUNY Old Westbury’s first-ever hip hop social justice course. Also, that year, Silver was tapped to join the team at Brooklyn Public Library’s historic Night in the Library: The Philosophy of Hip Hop. For more than 4,000 attendees, April curated the event’s Dilemma Series and invited her friend, KRS-One, to a one-on-one conversation about the essence of hip hop.

A proud Howard University graduate, Silver served as the founding president of The Cultural Initiative, Inc., while a student. She helped produce the nation’s first hip hop conference on a college campus. The annual national gathering was a touchstone event that launched the hip hop education movement now embraced by academia and solidified the group’s legendary status within the culture overall.

While at Howard U., Silver also helped lead the historic student protest of 1989, which resulted in Lee Atwater’s ouster from the University’s Board of Trustees. Her co-leadership role attracted international recognition. Thirty years later, Joshua M. Myers, an HU graduate and current Associate Professor at Howard, brilliantly wrote We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989.

Since childhood, Silver has been driven to help create a more balanced world. Among her hundreds of combined business endeavors and community service projects over the years, she founded the organization Co-Motion (in response to the killing of Amadou Diallo); served as Interim Executive Director of Nkiru Center for Education and Culture, the non-profit organization and bookstore co-founded by Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def); founded Artists for Life as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief movement; and co-founded Help Haiti as a part of the Haiti earthquake relief movement of 2010. Silver continues to volunteer, counsel, and help finance various initiatives locally, nationally, and in West Africa (credit for the photo at the top of the page goes to Solwazi Afi Olusola).

Learn more at April R. Silver’s official website

April R. Silver has Written 1 Book Review(s) for AALBC.com

1 Book by April R. Silver