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Malaak  Compton

Malaak Compton

Activist & Philanthropist

Malaak Compton

Activist & Philanthropist


Malaak Compton began her career in the public relations and special event fields. Her professional life started in the entertainment industry, working for many years at the Terrie Williams Agency, where she contributed to many successful movie and record release campaigns, and projects for clients including Eddie Murphy, The Essence Awards, and HBO.

Following a stint in the cosmetics industry, she found her true calling after accepting a position at the US Fund for UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund). During her three years with the organization, she spearheaded and oversaw the Special Events and Celebrity Relations Department (a position created for her once the agency saw the need to utilize celebrities). Compton designed and orchestrated numerous fundraising and advocacy events, geared towards increasing the organization’s visibility and promoting private sector and corporate giving. She managed the organization’s roster of celebrity spokespersons, planning numerous international fieldtrips for the spokespersons to witness UNICEF-assisted projects, coordinated all celebrity appearances at special events and with the media, as well as created a successful television product placement campaign for UNICEF’s core fundraising effort, “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.” She remains proud of the fact that she was able to increase the organization’s celebrity support by cultivating and recruiting many celebrities who continue to support UNICEF today, including Laurence Fishburne, Tea Leoni, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Claudia Schiffer. Compton-Rock continues to be an active supporter, having visited UNICEF-assisted projects with her family in South Africa and Kenya.

While still at the US Fund for UNICEF, she made the life-changing decision to dedicate her life’s work to the non-profit world. With that directive in mind, Compton left the US Fund for UNICEF to pursue her dream of starting her own a non-profit organization. After witnessing the sweeping changes in the welfare laws, combined with her love of individual style, Compton incorporated styleWORKS, an organization that provided comprehensive grooming services (i.e. hair-styling, make-up application, skincare services, clothing, accessories, and image consulting) to women moving from welfare to work for seven years.

In 2008, as a way to encourage people to live a life of service and as an umbrella organization for the six main causes that she works on full-time, Compton founded The Angelrock Project, an online e-village that promotes volunteerism, social responsibility, and sustainable change. Among its many elements, The Angelrock Project includes valuable information on how to volunteer, advice on making monetary or in-kind donations, links to life-changing non-profit organizations, recommends fair trade companies whose products sustain third-world artisans, and includes a discussion forum and blog. Additionally, The Angelrock Project features wonderful philanthropic individuals, grassroots volunteers and organizations on a monthly basis.  

Compton also founded and coordinates Journey for Change: Empowering Youth through Global Service, a program that takes at-risk youth from Brooklyn, New York to Johannesburg, South Africa for two weeks of global volunteer service. Upon their return, the participants, who attend the Salvation Army, become Global Ambassadors engaged in advocacy, service, and educational activities. The 2008-2009 inaugural program was filmed as part CNN’s Black in America 2: Tomorrow’s Leaders hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, which aired on July 21, 2009. Journey for Change 2 traveled to South Africa in August 2010 and took thirty youth from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick, Brownsville, and Bedford Stuyvesant. The youth have also traveled to Ghana to serve child slaves, New Orleans, LA to rebuild houses, and to Washington, DC for advocacy initiatives.

To support her international platform, Compton founded The Angelrock Project South Africa Trust to provide assistance to orphaned and vulnerable children, granny-led households, and people living with HIV/AIDS in Diepsloot and Soweto, two poverty-stricken shanty towns in Johannesburg, South Africa. The trust offers educational assistance, food and nutritional support, medical care, living allowances, and emergency care to the most vulnerable citizens in the community. Additionally, through a partnership with The Food Garden Foundation, The Angelrock Project South Africa Trust funds a sustainable community food garden in Diepsloot and gardens at six schools in Soweto to feed the orphan population. Moreover, the organization also created an income-generating project for grandmothers that includes a marketing, banking, and savings component.

Compton ventured into new professional waters by filming the Harpo/ABC-TV reality show Oprah’s Big Give. She served as a co-judge offering her insights, encouragement, and critiques to contestants whose mission was to give back to society in creative and innovative ways. Oprah’s Big Give offered a positive twist to primetime reality created in the spirit of The Oprah Winfrey Show and was a ratings hit.

Furthermore, Compton is an avid public speaker who lectures on topics pertaining to philanthropic giving and raising giving children in a global world. Broadway Books, a division of Random House, released her first book, If It Takes A Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service and 100+ Ways You Can Too in 2010. Compton has also been featured on a vast range of prominent international and national television media outlets, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, and Good Morning America, among many others. Additionally, she has been featured in a variety of print media outlets including Essence, Redbook, Variety, Town & Country, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Daily News, and USA Today.

Malaak Compton lives in New Jersey with her husband and three daughters. She holds a BFA in arts/production management from Howard University and received honorary doctorate degrees from Fairleigh Dickenson University in 2009, Salve Regina University in 2010, and Utica College of Syracuse University in 2012. She sits on the board of directors of The Children’s Defense Fund and The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. She is a member of the Bergen County, NJ Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the Bergen County, NJ Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, New York Women in Communications, the Cause Marketing Forum, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She lives by her favorite Marian Wright Edelman quote: “Service is the rent we pay for living.”

Speaker Videos

Small Acts of Service

Atlanta Conference Speech

Marian Wright Edelman

Commencement Speech

Inspiring Children Towards a Life of Service

Speech Topics

If It Takes a Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service

In this motivational keynote speech, Malaak Compton offers audiences insightful and practical advice on getting yourself and others involved in charities. Far from being sanctimonious, Compton provides audiences with a how-to guide on everything from finding the right volunteer opportunity or integrating a life of service into our youth, to researching charities and how to start a nonprofit. Drawing on her own experience as a the founder of a nonprofit, her work with inner-city youth and service during the aftermath of Katrina, Compton reminds us all that giving back is ultimately easier and infinitely more fulfilling than we thought it could be. Warm, honest, and accessible, If It Takes a Village, Build One is a presentation that will empower, motivate and energize your audience to leave a lasting and positive impact in their community.

Raising Giving Children in a Global World

Malaak Compton flew inner-city youths from Brooklyn, NY, to South Africa, where one in five people has AIDS or HIV and many homes in its shanty towns are headed by orphaned children.  She hopes that exposure to the rampant poverty in South Africa will empower these youths to give back to their community, while encouraging them to value their lives in the US where such things as free education are taken for granted.

Renewing the Inner Spirit

Finding Balance in Life

Successfully Blending a Family & a Professional Life