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Josie Johnson

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Information about Josie Johnson

Profile image of Josie Johnson

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Salmon, Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
I Feel Blessed For What Privileges That I Have.

Birthplace

Born:
10/7/1930
Birth Location:
San Antonio, Texas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Salmon, Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
I Feel Blessed For What Privileges That I Have.

Birthplace

Born:
10/7/1930
Birth Location:
San Antonio
See how Josie Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in 1931, Josie Robinson Johnson has played an active role in the civil rights movement since her teenage years, when she and her father canvassed her hometown of Houston to gather signatures on an anti-poll tax petition.

In the early 1960s, Johnson lobbied professionally for passage of bills concerning such issues as fair housing and employment opportunities. In 1964, she traveled from Minneapolis to Mississippi with an integrated group of women to witness and take part in the struggle there. After visiting an open-air freedom school where blacks were organizing, the group learned the school was bombed later that day. Johnson became a community organizer for Project ENABLE, a pioneering effort in developing parenting skills and strengthening family life in 1965. A member of the Minneapolis Urban League, she served as acting director between 1967 and 1968.

Johnson worked with elected officials many times over the years. In 1968, she became a legislative liaison and community liaison as a mayoral aide in Minneapolis during a time of trouble for African Americans in the town. The executive assistant to the lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1975 to 1978, Johnson went back to Texas in 1978 and supervised Judson Robinson's campaign staff. In 1980, she served as deputy campaign manager for the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign in Tennessee.

Johnson has also had an ongoing relationship with the University of Minnesota. Between 1971 and 1973, she served on the University's Board of Regents. She earned a B.A. in Sociology at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and an M.A. and Ed.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The University of Minnesota offered her a senior fellowship in 1987. Johnson directed its All-University Forum as diversity director from 1990 to 1992. That year, she became responsible for minority affairs and diversity at the college as the associate vice president for academic affairs. The University of Minnesota established the annual Josie Robinson Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award in her honor.

Johnson founded Josie Robinson Johnson and Associates in 1996. She is a Minneapolis Institute of Arts trustee, a Minnesota Medical Foundation trustee and sits on the advisory board of the Harriet Tubman Center. She is a recipient of the Committed to the Vision Award from the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the African American Community Endowment Fund Award.





Josie Johnson
CivicMaker
Educator
b. 1931
151 words

Josie Johnson was born on October 7, 1930, in Houston. As the daughter of Houston civil rights pioneers, she grew up with a deep concern for social justice and civil rights. After receiving her B.A. in sociology from Fisk University and her M.A. in education from the University of Massachusetts, Johnson went to work in 1956 as a lobbyist to help pass Minnesota's anti-discrimination laws. In 1967, she served one year as the acting director for the Minneapolis Urban League. In 1971, after teaching in the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, she was appointed to the Minnesota Board of Regents, where she served until 1973. In 1992, she accepted the position as associate vice president in charge of minority affairs and directed their All-University Forum as diversity director. The University of Minnesota established the Annual Josie Robinson Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award in her honor.

See how Josie Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Josie Johnson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson talks about her mother and father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson remembers her great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Josie Johnson describes attending St. Nicholas Catholic School in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Josie Johnson describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Josie Johnson describes attending high school at St. Nicholas Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson talks about how her family taught her to cope with racism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson describes her high school activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson talks about changing her major at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson talks about living in various cities as a young adult
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes her community involvement in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson recalls working with Mahmoud El-Kati in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson talks about the black community in Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson talks about visiting Mississippi in 1964
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson shares her firsthand experiences of Mississippi in 1964
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson describes founding the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson describes the current state of the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes the importance of African American Studies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson talks about her teaching and political career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson describes serving as Chief of Staff for HistoryMaker Lieutenant Governor George Brown in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson explains why she moved back to Minnesota in 1985
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson describes the context and rationale for busing to integrate schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson talks about the busing controversy in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson talks about her hopes and concerns for African American children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes problems facing the black community, pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson describes problems facing the black community, pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Josie Johnson talks about the destructive racial system in the United States
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson describes working to bridge the divide between the African American and Jewish communities at the University of Minnesota
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Josie Johnson talks about becoming the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Josie Johnson discusses diversity in higher education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Josie Johnson reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Josie Johnson describes her parents' pride in her success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Josie Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Josie Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Josie Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 2