Chris "CJ" Johnson graduated with a degree in Sports Management from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies in 2013, Johnson decided to pursue his journey in the Deaf world; he gained his first great sense of his identity, academically and socially, through his employment experience at several deaf institutions and it was ultimately ascertained that Johnson is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Chris, then, furthered his Sign Language Education at the Gallaudet University in 2018. CJ, a former American Sign Language (ASL) instructor at both Northern Virginia Community College at the Annandale Campus in Annandale, Virginia and the University of Minnesota-Duluth in Duluth, Minnesota, is currently fulfilling his purpose-driven, modulating, and visionary leadership with forward-influenced plans at Gallaudet University in Washington, District of Columbia.
Image description: A black, bald gentleman with golden oval glasses dressed in a white-blue short-sleeved shirt with red stripes. A white-shirt shirt complements blue jeans and brown timberlands.
Greetings. My name is Christopher D. Johnson, generally known as “CJ” in the Deaf world. Carrollton, Georgia, was the place of birth where I grew up in Georgia with one younger brother and loving and supportive parents. Upon graduation from high school, my seven-year journey encompassed no mentor, realizing that my identity as a Black deaf male hasn’t developed. I decided to suspend academic studies to fulfill my adaptive leadership through several deaf residential employments in Georgia and Tennessee. My pluralistic leadership entails a successful implementation of community-based operations of the Cup of Wisdom (C.O.W.) club, from 2016 to 2018, at the Tennessee School for the Deaf (TSD), where I had the ability to inspire students with confidence in themselves to live with zest and purpose. The calling to become an educator appeared after several colleagues--who recognized my ability to bridge academic and community divides, earning students' trust to develop intrinsic qualities owning their own weight and build their own success--encouraged me to reconsider my options for returning to school. The intuition was strong to resist; I then applied at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., to pursue my Master's in Sign Language Education. I am inspired to experience the growth that cultivates around several organizational leadership that serves the Deaf community. By finding the mundane's excitement, I gained a sense of Black deaf identity. My closing remarks:
How can we together address the inequities that have left our Black deaf students underserved and undereducated for decades?
“To each of the million questions is a cry to comprehend the Deaf World.
Therefore, ask freely as your wisdom presents human flourishing.”
- Christopher D. Johnson