- Fighting for equality near and far
- Age: 22
- School: University of Chicago
- Hometown: East Cleveland, Ohio
- Gender: Male
- Category: Social Activism and Community Service
Jonathan is a world traveler on a mission. From South Africa to India, he has spread his commitment to civil rights and humanitarian relief. In 2011, Jonathan spent six months in the Cape Town, South Africa, township of Khayelitsha, advocating alongside students, teachers, parents and nongovernmental organizations for a more egalitarian education system. In the summer of 2012, Jonathan trekked to Mumbai, India, where he worked with several NGOs on education rights, housing and policy initiatives and academic research initiatives for disadvantaged youths living in Mumbai's slums.
He also works to make lives better at home, working with his University of Chicago political science professor to create the Black Youth Project, an online resource that explores the lives, attitudes and voices of young African Americans. In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union acknowledged Jonathan for his efforts in activism as a high schooler, naming him its student activist of the year. "Everything I do is related to what I experienced growing up," Jonathan said. "I went to a high school where only 50 percent [of students] graduated. What society do we live in where this kind of story can exist?"