Young men in Jacksonville now published authors by Harvard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A group of young men is back from Harvard University, where they spoke and presented a manuscript at a conference. They are now published authors by Harvard.

“I don’t want them to see me as a gang member or, when they see me, they feel like they have to be in fear,” said Nicholas Shubert.

Shubert doesn’t want to keep wearing this sweatshirt. It said, “I’m not a gang member.”

“I want you to believe me as a human, not a gang member,” said Shubert.

He hopes he will also be seen as a published author by Harvard -- because he is. Shubert and a group of young men just got back from Harvard University for the annual Educational Conference. They presented a 25-page manuscript, called “The Evac story: Why youth storytelling is powerful.” Harvard published it.

“It’s basically discussing how youth stories have the power to change our world and city for the better,” said Amy Donofrio, co-founder of Evac Movement.

Evac Movement is a youth-led community working to destigmatize society’s perception of black men. Donofrio hopes this achievement will let other kids know there’s opportunity no matter where they are from.

“This gives them the platform and lets the kids of Jacksonville know they, too, can go to Harvard. They can be published authors by Harvard, and there’s nothing that can discount them from doing that,” she said.