Jeff Johnson

Beyond diversity: Challenging racism in an age of backlash

Watch live

Thursday, April 18, 2013

7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

PSU 200 (Theatre)

Open to the Public

Anti-racist writer and educator Tim Wise critiques “diversity” efforts on campuses and in corporate America. Unlike conservative criticisms, which claim diversity and multiculturalism have gone too far, this presentation focuses on how most “tolerance” training amounts to little more than a feel-good approach, which fails to address the fundamental structures of racism and inequality. Since it is these institutional realities that cause a lack of “diversity” in the first place, failure to discuss strategies for changing the current distribution of power will doom diversity efforts to failure. Focusing on personal prejudice rather than institutional bias is shown to be inadequate for building an anti-racist movement. The negative impact on all Americans that results from failing to address structural racism is discussed in detail.

Jeff Johnson

Currently the host and managing editor of the weekly internet show "The Intersection" and the executive editor of, Jeff Johnson has contributed commentary and analysis about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socio-economics for a litany of top tier media outlets that include CNN, Fox News, BET and The Dr. Phil Show. He continues to provide weekly commentary on the nationally syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" tackling issues on politics, entertainment and social policy issues for its 8 million listeners.

As an award-winning journalist, social activist, political commentator and author, Jeff began his journey to "playing a great part in the world" as a student/leader at the University of Toledo, serving as the president of Student Government and the Black Student Union. Early in his professional career, Jeff ascended to national leadership positions, becoming the national director for the NAACP's Youth and College Division, as well as vice president of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. It was in these capacities that Johnson began to develop and cultivate his passion for politics and social activism and laid the groundwork for a career that exemplifies service and awareness.

Johnson's dedication and superb work ethic garnered the attention of African American cable network BET, and in 2003 Johnson began a 5-year engagement as the resident cultural and political affairs commentator of the popular music show, "Rap City." Additional work with the network included "The Jeff Johnson Chronicles" as well as the weekly news show, "The Truth with Jeff Johnson." In 2008 Johnson recieved the NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for BET's "Life & Death in Darfur, Jeff Johnson Reports" series. Johnson ended his tenure with BET known as the "conscience voice" of the network and still values the experience as a defining point in his personal and professional path.

In 2009, Johnson published his first book, "Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal Best." This empowering strategic guide for manifesting and achieving your personal BEST showcases Johnson's unique blend of political consciousness and street-smart inspiration. Publishing this book enabled the world to see his multi-faceted appeal and approach to a wide variety of topics. A powerful and uplifting book with wide range appeal, "Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am" offers practical guidance for learning how to unplug from the programmed expectations of family and society in order to discover and fulfill your unique life's mission.

Johnson resides in Baltimore, Md., with his wife Jacqueline and loves to be called dad by Madison, Myles and Malcolm. To learn more about Jeff Johnson, please visit

Destroying the echo chamber to build an ecosystem

Thursday, April 24, 2014
7-8:15 p.m.
PSU 200 (Theater)

The keynote presentation is free and does not require conference registration; however, conference registration assures priority seating for the keynote presentation.

True inclusion should be about the development of healthy communities. But the development of community requires the participants to accept that the parts cannot have sustained existence without a healthy environment that feeds all because all contribute. Award-winning journalist, communications specialist and thought leader Jeff Johnson will discuss strategies to move beyond passionate echo chambers where we spew our righteous positions, to ecosystems where we operate in a reality that our fate is connected to all in the environment, even those we oppose.

Watch live