Jacksonville teens selected to co-lead Racial Equality Committee at Harvard

Ronald Coleman and Levi Innis are two of 24 teens chosen nationwide.

Jacksonville, FLa — It’s an offer of a lifetime from one of the world’s most famous Ivy League schools.

Ronald Coleman and Levi Innis, members of the non-profit EVAC Movement have been selected as members of Harvard’s Youth Advisory Board, two of just 24 teens chosen nationwide.

EVAC is a youth-based movement. It’s youth leading youth in a conversation about injustices they might have experienced or observed in their community. Many said they have lost loved ones to violence or incarceration, or they have been the victim of police brutality.

The group has hosted meetings where youth can express their concerns. They have met with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, and traveled to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

This isn’t the first time Harvard has come calling. Earlier this year Action News Jax told you the school turned turned several EVAC members into published authors after they presented a manuscript at the annual Educational Conference titled: “The Evac story: Why youth storytelling is powerful.”

In 2019, former members Brandon Griggs and Nick Burgess, were also selected following a nationwide search.

“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.

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.