Born in New York to Jamaican immigrants, Caleb Gayle remembers a childhood that was defined by his grandfather, a strict but loving reverend who cherished the pursuit of the American Dream and believed there was no excuse for anyone who fell short. It wasn't until Caleb's family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, that he began to grapple with systemic racial and economic injustice, an experience that led to his interest in nonprofits and government.
While at the University of Oklahoma, Caleb began replicating the community development work he had done in Oklahoma, this time with burgeoning, low-income female entrepreneurs in Mexico. After graduating, Caleb, a Harry S. Truman Scholar, worked for Crea Comunidades de Emprendedores Sociales, a social enterprise that creates customized programs to empower women entrepreneurs from marginalized areas in Mexico. After completing his graduate work at the University of Oxford as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Caleb returned to Mexico to support scaling the work of Crea as a federal government program, Mujeres Moviendo MÃ©xico.
In 2013 Caleb joined the George Kaiser Family Foundation to increase the scope of programs focused on improving the livelihood outcomes of low-income families and children. His team's work has been chronicled in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Education Week. Caleb's essays have been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Threepenny Review, the Huffington Post's Black Voices series, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Sojourners. He is a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership.
A proud adopted son of Tulsa, Caleb has served on the boards of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, the Tulsa Area Salvation Army, and the MetCares Foundation. Eventually, Caleb hopes to return to philanthropy and emerge as a political leader.