Author, father, youth mentor, inspirational speaker, community organizer and bookstore owner are just a few of the significant roles willfully acquired by the indispensable Yusef Bunchy Shakur. His innate ability to overcome the odds of growing up in a fatherless home with an abusive and alcoholic mother while a product of a thuggish environment, are extraordinary.
This lifestyle ultimately led to his co-founding a notorious street gang; “Zone 8,” which contributed to his imprisonment at just 19 years old for a crime he did not commit.
It was during this imprisonment that he became acquainted with his estranged father. Ironically, the man who had not been there for him played an integral role in Yusef’s development from a hardened criminal into a responsible adult.
After serving nine years in prison, Shakur became instrumental in making significant contributions to the betterment of his community. These contributions derived from his personal mission to “Restore the Neighbor Back to the Hood.”
He has organized various community initiatives and events in and around the City of Detroit during the past 10 years. They include but are not limited to, providing backpacks and school supplies to more than 600 children over the last 3 years. He also furthered his education by earning his Associates Degree and is currently working towards his Bachelors Degree. Shakur sums up his epic journey of redemption, hope, triumph & transformation into the self-published, critically acclaimed memoir The Window 2 My Soul: My Transformation from a Zone 8 Thug to a Father & Freedom Fighter which he released in 2008.
2002 –- Co-Organized outdoor event “Young Brothas and Sistas on the Move”;
2004 – Co-Coordinated a 20 week Malcolm X Male Rights of Passage @ Kabazz Cultural Center Program;
2006 –- Facilitated “Real Men, Real Talk” men support group for Highland Park Head Start;
2008 -– Organized -– “The State of Emergency of the Urban Youth” wherein he gave away free school supplies and new clothes to over 200 youth;
2009 –- Conducted a Mentorship Program “Real Talk: Empowering Our Youth”;
2010 –- Facilitated community dialogue “ Are Black Males the Enemy of the Black Community”
2004 -- Volunteer of the Year;
2008 -- Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony Social Activist Award;
2009 -- Silent Hero Award; 2010- Leaders, Legends & Luminaries Award; 2010 -- Local Hero Award;
2010 -- Malcolm X Award; 2011 -- 10 Years of Freedom Award
"Special Tribute" from State Senator/Congressman Hansen Clarke, State Representative Fred Durhal and Senator Bert Johnson;
"Testimonial Resolutions" & "Spirit of Detroit" from the Detroit City Council & Wayne County Commissioners
Universities Incorporating “The Window 2 My Soul” Into Curriculum:
University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Wayne State University, Wayne County Community College & Merritt College