Shawon Jackson graduated from Harvard Kennedy School and Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2021 with a dual Master’s in Public Policy and Master’s in Business Administration. Shawon is the founder of Vocal Justice, whose mission is to empower undervalued Black and Brown youth to become socially conscious leaders through a culturally affirming public speaking program. Shawon’s passion for this work stems from his own experience teaching public speaking to marginalized youth, which began in college when he co-led a public speaking course for young men who were incarcerated. After graduating from Princeton, where he studied Public and International Affairs, Shawon worked for a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic and then did government consulting with Deloitte. Afterward, he became an Education Pioneers fellow, supporting a nonprofit in D.C.
As a Cheng Fellow, Shawon developed Vocal Justice and created a model that goes beyond building students’ communication skills to building their critical consciousness. When he’s not working or talking about social justice, you can find Shawon dancing hip-hop, bachata, or merengue.