Kamal Saleem began his career with the New York City Housing Authority in 1986 as the Director of the Stapleton Community Center on Staten Island. Over the years he developed after-school programs in drama, oil painting, computer literacy, music, chess, and journalism, and hosts a Teen Center in the evening. In 1998, Kamal was promoted to Community Coordinator at the Center, continuing his role as the Director while taking on additional duties overseeing the Senior Center and Tenant Association operations. Kamal and his staff frequently host borough-wide annual events, including the “Halloween Haunted House,” “Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month” festivities, S.I. Chess Tournament, and various sports award dinners. Under Mr. Saleem’s administration, the Stapleton site has won more borough championships in sports over the last decade than any of Staten Island’s public community centers. Although his background is in the arts, he recognizes the value of sports and sportsmanship for youth. Described by colleagues as the “guiding force and steadying influence of the Stapleton Community Center”, Kamal dedicates his work towards helping young people combat self-doubt and other "burden[s] strangling the hopes and potential accomplishments" of our youth. Both Kamal and his staff attempt to instill a sense of empowerment in his children through the tools of self-expression and reflection via a holistic offering of educational, cultural, recreational, and athletic programming.
Kamal graduated for Art and Design High School in Manhattan, and received a BA in Communication Arts at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Prior to the New York City Housing Authority, Kamal Saleem worked with the Human Resources Administration for five years, teaching art and ceramics to seniors. Mr. Saleem is the father of two adult daughters, his eldest having recently received her Masters degree. He is a professional artist/illustrator and enjoys biking, chess, and swimming.