Meet Jonathan Allen

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Jonathan L. Allen, J.D. is an Allston-Brighton resident who moved here for education, but gained much more from the community. He is the co-founder of The Leadership Brainery, a Boston-based nonprofit, created to empower underrepresented student leaders through community engagement, leadership development, and preparation for advanced education.


Jonathan followed his maternal and paternal grandmothers’ footsteps and began preaching at age 11, and was ordained at age 20. Recognized as a social engineer and an advocate for love and equity, his beliefs surrounding transformative leadership, collective responsibility, political spirituality, and social and emotional intelligence have influenced individuals and groups throughout the world.

As a first-generation college student, he became freshman and sophomore class president, junior senator, and Student Body President of Grambling State University. After receiving his BS in Business Management, Jonathan worked to expand services for a pediatric day healthcare center for chronically ill children until departing to earn his Master of Theological Studies degree from Southern Methodist University | Perkins School of Theology.


Jonathan is graduate of Boston University School of Law, where he was an active leader. He has participated in international arbitration and mediation competitions and served as the president of the Black Law Students Association. Jonathan has written speeches for U.S. Congresspersons while studying Faith and Politics under former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry at Wesley Theological Seminary. He was later a fellow at Free Speech for People, research assistant to the Honorable Geraldine S. Hines of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, research assistant to Rev. Cornell Brooks who is former President and CEO of the NAACP, and fellow at Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice.


His honors include the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association’s Honorable Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland Leadership and Juvenile Advocacy Award, the American Public Health Association Campus Leadership Award, and BU Law’s Emmanuel Hewlett Award. He has been highlighted for making cultural inroads by More than Esquires Network, Move To Amend, Daily Free Press, The Rainbow Times, Boston Lawyers Group, The Fight Magazine, Arts & Understand Magazine, and Forbes Under 30 Scholars.

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Jonathan lives in the Oak Square neighborhood of Brighton with his partner of seven years, Derrick Young Jr., a strategist and nonprofit executive. The two are active members of Oak Square YMCA and daily riders of the 57 Kenmore-Watertown bus.