Award winning actor, Khalil Munir earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Adelphi University in Theater in 2005. He is currently a teaching artist at various institutions across Philadelphia offering classes in theater and creative movement. Khalil wrote, produced and performs his one-man show, “1 Pound 4 Ounces” at the National Jewish Museum in Philadelphia. This is an autobiographical piece depicting his life journey including his time at DVFS and how he has coped with his learning challenges. Khalil has recently joined the Delaware Valley Friends School faculty teaching creative movement and theater in the Middle School.
When did you come to DVFS, and from where?
I came to DVFS in 9th Grade from the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia.
Can you tell us a little bit about your learning difference and your struggles in school?
I am dyslexic, but didn’t know that until a former teacher helped me get tested and then suggested DVFS. My main academic challenges were in reading, writing, spelling and math. School in general was very difficult.
What changed for you at DVFS?
I spent two years in the Summer Program before I became a full time student. At DVFS, my whole outlook on education changed. I found DV a place where I was accepted, and where I could find my truth and expand on it and create both an academic life and a social life. But I didn’t feel like I lost my friends in the city. I could be at DV and still participate in Freedom Theater and go to my friends’ proms. Being at DV just created another family for me.
Do you have any special memories from your time at DVFS?
Playing sports was a memorable part of my DVFS career. I played basketball - and I think I still hold the DV scoring record. My coaches always said I could go to Division I college for sports, but, by this time, the arts had a hold on me and I chose that over basketball. When I was at DVFS, there was no outlet for the kind of performing arts I was into, but a friend and I shared a love of tap dancing, so we got together and set up a program where we could perform at school.
What do you think the long-term value of a DVFS education has been for you?
For me it is the sense of community. I also value being able to come back and be a teacher here now where I have the opportunity to instill what I've learned in life in the kids. I can come from a place where I know where they are and what they feel because I was there. DV also taught me self-reliance and to advocate for myself and to not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help when I need it.
Have you earned any special achievements or awards you'd like to share with us?
I’m really proud of my show, “1 Pound 4 Ounces,” and I was very honored to be chosen as the DVFS Alumnus of the Year in 2011.
Anything else you'd like to share about DVFS or what you've been doing since graduation?
Right now, I’m enjoying exploring life. I’m committed to taking life by horns, creating what I want, and living by my own standards and terms.