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Vivian R. Johnson

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Information about Vivian R. Johnson

Profile image of Vivian R. Johnson

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Mangoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/24/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Mangoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/24/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Vivian R. Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Retired educator Vivian R. Johnson was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Los Angeles, California where she graduated from Polytechnic High School in 1952 and entered the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1955, she became the first African American elected as a Women’s Representative on the Student Council. Influenced by the UCLA University Religious Conference (URC), Johnson was chosen to participate in the URC sponsored Project India in 1953 where she worked with Indian students to build a one-room school house in a village near Calcutta, India. Following receipt of her B.A. degree in English/Speech from UCLA in 1956 and a year of graduate studies, she traveled to the East Coast with her husband, Willard R. Johnson. For four years, she served as a scholarship assistant placing students from newly independent African nations in American universities for the Africa-American Institute in Washington, D.C. and Harvard University’s African Scholarship Program of American Universities.

From 1968 to 1972, Johnson served as a social studies curriculum writer for the Newton Massachusetts Public Schools. In Boston, Massachusetts, she founded a resource center on African American culture and directed Reading is Yours to Keep, Inc. from 1973 to 1978 in which parents were trained to tutor students. In 1974, she received the Certificate of Advanced Study and in 1975 the Doctorate in Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

From 1976 to 1980, Johnson served as a consultant to a number of educational institutions including multicultural film evaluation for WGBH Boston, curriculum development for University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University College and school-staff development for Boston University’s African Studies Outreach Program. After serving as Co-Coordinator of the Collaborative Planning Study for the College and University Planning Program with the Boston Public Schools, in 1980, Johnson began a six-year tenure as the Campus Coordinator for Boston University School of Medicine’s Strengthening Health Delivery Systems Program operating in twenty countries in central and west Africa.

In 1987, Johnson was a Scholar in Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, where she completed the book West African governments and volunteer development organizations : priorities for partnership, co-authored with her husband. In 1989, she joined the faculty at Boston University’s School of Education as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies. During her time at Boston University, Johnson received the prestigious Fulbright Summer Seminar Award to study multicultural education in Indonesia.

After retiring from Boston University as Associate Professor Emerita in 2003, Johnson’s work in her specialties continued. In 2005, she joined her colleagues in teaching a summer course in Geneva, Switzerland, and she co-authored a book on family, school and community partnership in education published in 2007.

Throughout her career, Johnson has been involved with numerous civic organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Trust for Public Land, National Audubon Society, Oxfam America and the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Vivian R. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2007.

See how Vivian R. Johnson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian R. Johnson's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers researching her family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her maternal family's move to Muscogee, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her family's interest in African American history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers reading African American newspapers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mother's experiences in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her father's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls how her mother and stepfather met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers moving to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the segregation of schools in the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her maternal grandfather's role in the Universal Negro Improvement Association
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Birdielee V. Bright
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her aspirations to become a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her interest in theater
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the neighborhood of West Los Angeles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls joining the debate team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her involvement with the debate team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers her prom dress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls graduating from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her brother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her brother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Stevens House at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Panel of Americans at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Project India, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Project India, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her experiences in Paris, France
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her first impressions of India
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Adeline Gunther
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Lillian Granderson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls assisting a student from Malawi
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls learning about colonial independence movements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the poverty in India
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian R. Johnson's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls returning to the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers marrying Willard Johnson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mentors at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her early career in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls working with the Circle Associates
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers her interest in African American history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her husband's early career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Circle Associates' resource center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the success of Reading is Yours to Keep
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson explains her challenges with the Boston Public Schools
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls coordinating an international public health program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls coordinating an international public health program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers studying international development organizations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the American Museum of Negro History in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Sue Bailey Thurman
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her interest in Boston's African American history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the Institute for Responsive Education
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Dr. James Comer
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls teaching at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers training teachers in Portugal
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls conducting education research abroad
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her experiences abroad
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her success as a teacher trainer
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Trust for Public Land
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about Tremont Crossing, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about Tremont Crossing, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her work with international students
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her retirement from Boston University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her collaborations with WBGH-TV
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her book, 'Beyond the Bake Sale'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the Young People's Project
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her older daughter
  • Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her younger daughter
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her daughters' international travels
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered