"Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them." - Leo Tolstoy

Curriculum Vitae

Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame 2020

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Lillian Williams Champion of Diversity Award 2022


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It was a great honor for me to meet CJ when he arrived at Gallaudet University in the summer of 2018. As a 2018 Masters of Sign Language Education graduate candidate (MA-SLED), he demonstrated his continued, steadfast commitment to pedagogical methods and theories that are rooted in teachers' ability to genuinely connect with students.  His endearing humor and warm personality along with his ability to promote healthy and positive teamwork were very prominent throughout his graduate studies.  CJ is also very active as a volunteer, participant, and leader, supporting the growth and respect of American Sign Language (ASL) and Black ASL in Deaf and Black Deaf communities.  He deeply believes in the importance of balancing both his enthusiastic approach towards pedagogical strategies and curriculum work as well as his investment in sharing his knowledge and expertise through giving workshops and volunteer work with marginalized communities.  I wholeheartedly endorse CJ as one of the most passionate and dedicated teachers I've known.  Anyone who hires or will have the opportunity to work with CJ will find themselves to be very fortunate!   ​

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Undisclosed ASL Student

"I decided to return to college after an 18-year hiatus. I made up my mind that I would pursue a degree in ASL Interpretation and signed up for my first official ASL class with Chris Johnson as my instructor. During the course of instruction, I was able to establish a solid foundation in sign language. From his instruction, I was able to greatly improve my reception, increase my vocabulary, retain through repetition, and most importantly, how imperative it is to be cognizant of the Deaf community as a person in the hearing world. Mr. Johnson made the learning environment fun and used humor often to engage the class. He is very passionate, knowledgeable, and committed to assisting with improving our skills. He made sure that students clearly understood and were confident with instruction material before progressing.


I would highly recommend any student wishing to obtain more knowledge in ASL to take a course with Mr. Johnson, especially if they are seeking first-hand exposure to the Deaf community from a culturally diverse perspective."

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Undisclosed ASL Student

"Christopher D Johnson is a great teacher. I took ASL 101 with him. His class was fun and full of new signs every time. He is so helpful and does not mind repeating several times until all students understand well. He uses different things to make the class more interesting, such as games, news videos, and grouping students to practice stories together. I have learned a lot about Deaf culture in his class Although this class is a language class, not a culture class. My signs skills have improved so fast as well. He respects different cultures and encourages multiculturism. He is strong "Deaf”, meaning that belonging to Deaf culture and helping the Deaf community as much as he can. He taught us how to help Deaf individuals in a Hearing sitting when there is no one knows ASL. I would recommend him, especially, to teach ASL beginners since he is patient with them."


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I had the awesome pleasure of meeting Chris at Gallaudet University in the fall semester of 2018. The passion that he exudes for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) and giving back to his community is palpable. As a graduate candidate in the Masters of Sign Language Education program, Chris continues to hone his craft by studying and seeking pedagogical methods and theories that focus on multicultural education with a goal of being able to provide culturally relevant content to better relate to his students.

Chris' dedication to sharing his expertise extends beyond the classroom. He is an active volunteer with campus and community organizations committed to promoting awareness and support of Black ASL and the Black deaf community. His work ethic along with his warm and open demeanor led me to enlist Chris' assistance as a mentor and motivational speaker for the Academic Learning Lab for Student Training, Achievement and Readiness (ALLSTAR) Program. This program focuses on assisting students of color in developmental non-credited English courses to reach their full potential. While taking a full load of coursework, Chris mentored three freshmen student participants in the ALLSTAR program for one semester. Under his guidance, the students flourished and were able to successfully matriculate into credited courses. Chris also shared his knowledge, his expertise, and his experiences by giving a presentation to all of the participants in the ALLSTAR program. After his presentation, students bombarded Chris with questions of how they too could follow in his footsteps of successfully navigating college. Chris provided thoughtful and sound advice to the students and made himself available for further discussion if students so desire. Chris is a positive role model, educator, and public speaker with compassion that will be an asset to any academic environment in which he is involved. I whole-heartedly recommend Chris without reservation!

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"I am constantly on the look-out for emerging young Black Deaf leaders to encourage and support. They are individuals who are willing to 'step up to the plate' and involve themselves in the work of serving our Black Deaf community. They are individuals with 'fire" inside of them who are  willing to commit themselves to helping others to 'rise up.'  Having worked with Chris on behalf of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), I've had an opportunity to witness first-hand his passion and capabilities. I'm looking forward to seeing Chris rise and blossom as a next generation Black Deaf leader."

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Undisclosed Parent of a Deaf Child

"Chris(CJ) was Superb. He spoke for TSD [Tennessee School for the Deaf] 2020 Graduation. He was outstanding, very encouraging and showed so much support for the 2020 class Inspite Of The Pandemic. Telling them to keep their heads up ,reach for your goals and so forth. I had the pleasure of meeting CJ @ TSD 2016-18! He was my 1 of my Son's cottage staff. My son spoke so highly of CJ & was always saying he helped him while he was there. He made me feel welcome whenever we talked & always kept me updated on my son's progress. I didn't know he was leaving but I've always appreciated his work, love and support for my family. It was hard letting my sons attend the school because we live in Memphis and The TSD is in Knoxville. But overall I really appreciate the hard work you have done & I will forever hold you in my heart!"