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. Throughout the hybrid graduate program, CJ was an American Sign Language (ASL) adjunct instructor at Northern Virginia Community College, where he applied his teaching method(s) in 15+ student classrooms at the Annandale Campus in Annandale, Virginia. Currently, Mr. Johnson, a purpose-driven and visionary leader with forward-influenced plans, is a current full-time faculty at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in Duluth, Minnesota.
Image description: A black, bald gentleman with golden oval glasses dressed in a grey suit. Underneath the suit is a white dress shirt complemented by blue slacks and brown shoes.
Greetings. My name is Christopher D. Johnson and I am generally known as “CJ” in the Deaf world. Carrollton, Georgia was the place of my birth where I grew up in Georgia with one younger brother and both loving and supportive parents. Upon graduation from high school, my seven-year journey encompassed with no mentor with the realization 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 school. The intuition was strong to resist; I then applied at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to pursue my Masters in Sign Language Education. I am inspired to experience the growth that cultivates around several of organizational leadership that serves the Deaf community. Through this, by finding the excitement in mundane, I gained a sense of Black deaf identity.
"Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and thereby increase self-respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X