Human Rights Director John Johnson Commends Diversity Efforts at Campbellsville University

By Linda Waggener, assistant director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, visited the campus of Campbellsville University recently to meet with administration, faculty and staff, as well as community leaders.

Johnson discussed several ideas with them, including ways that colleges and universities may become more involved with the KCHR. The potential partnerships include the KCHR Human Rights Leadership Training Institute, KCHR College Internship Program, KCHR Advocacy Hearings, and KCHR Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Michael Carter stated, “We are very interested in working with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights on these and other initiatives. Certainly, the opportunity for CU students to be involved with internships at KCHR, as well as for faculty and staff to become involved in research and outreach work with the Commission, are in line with the mission and core values of Campbellsville University. We commend Mr. Johnson’s vision and progressive leadership.”

“Johnson was pleased with the work Campbellsville University is doing to promote diversity and educational opportunity for our minority students and the entire student population,” said John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. He said Johnson indicated he would like to see more universities and communities engaged in the kinds of positive and proactive strategies being done at CU.

Chowning said Johnson was also impressed with the work of Greater Campbellsville United which brings together CU and community leaders, including Mayor Brenda Allen and County Judge Executive Eddie Rogers and others, to work to help promote economic empowerment and equal opportunity across lines of race, ethnicity, economic status and gender.

While visiting Campbellsville, Johnson was in meetings with Campbellsville University President Dr. Michael V. Carter; Chowning; Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs; Otto Tennant, vice president for finance and administration; professors Dr. Carolyn Garrison and Dr. Beverly Ennis; Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen; Dr. Robert Clark (a GCU leader) among others. He also met with a group of community leaders, including Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen and members of Greater Campbellsville United. While on campus, he was interviewed for Dialogue on Public Issues by Chowning at TV-4.

Johnson, a native of Franklin, Ky., has had a lifetime of leadership starting at age 17, when he became the youngest president of any Kentucky chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Johnson earned a bachelor’s of art degree in community development from Sojourner Douglas College in Baltimore and has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate degree from Simmons University for civil rights and community development, a “Distinguished Service Award” from Kentucky State University; the Kentucky Southern Christian Leadership Conference Annual “Civil Rights Leadership Award” the prestigious “Distinguished Service in Social Action National Award” from the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and the Medgar Evers Award for Outstanding Service, Sincere Devotion and Commitment to the NAACP.

He serves on the national board of directors for the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the board of directors of the National Committee on Pay Equity and the national board of directors of the Association for Quality Education and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. He is chair of the advisory board of the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum Inc.

Johnson joined the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Sept. 4, 2007. He was appointed by unanimous decision by the Board of Commissioners of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights to serve as the state agency’s executive director.

He and his wife, Courtrina, reside in Louisville.

For more information about minority scholarships and diversity programs at CU, contact Chowning at (270) 789-5220 or e-mail

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 29 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.

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