Dean J. Johnson

Dean Johnson is Director of Peace and Conflict Studies and Associate Professor Philosophy at  West Chester University. An interdisciplinary activist scholar Johnson teaches courses in Peace Studies and Religious Studies. His research interests include: religion and social change, race critical theory, critical whiteness studies, gender critical theory, nonviolent activism, community organizing, conflict transformation, and critical pedagogies. As an activist and scholar, Johnson is a consultant for nonviolent campaigns and initiatives. He provides workshops and trainings in the areas of nonviolent direct action, community organizing, and (with his partner Melissa Bennett) anti-oppression, queer solidarity, and anti-racism. He is a board member and the U.S. Membership Chair for the Peace and Justice Studies Association and a member of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. Johnson is an advisory board member and former chair of the SpiritHouse Project of New York, NY. He is co-editor of Resist, Organize, Transform: An Introduction to Nonviolence and Activism (San Diego: Cognella Academic Publishing, forthcoming 2019). 

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Every semester I stand in front of my classes at my predominantly white state university and argue, “whiteness came into being through more than five hundred years of dominant cultural narratives undergirded by [white] Christianity, laws, and sciences which have proclaimed the innate inferiority of those outside dominant white culture.” ...

I owe a great deal of my pedagogical approach to Vincent and Rosemarie Harding. The way I teach has been profoundly impacted by watching and learning from these activist teaching elders in the Black-led freedom struggle. Have you ever had a teacher who was a good story teller? A teacher ...

Over the past several weeks, we have seen over and over again violence against people, mostly women of color, presumed to be Muslim. The attackers have been white men who targeted their victims based on the victim’s presumed religion. Some of the increase in these hate crimes can be ...

Every time I walk into a classroom or workshop for the first time, I hear the voices of elders in the long, Black-led struggle for justice pressing the questions: “How are you going to bring people into the movement? How are you going to plant the seeds and bring forth ...

Silence, guilt and fear are obstacles to justice and democracy.  My white brothers and sisters, we have often let the fear of breaking the rules of certain types of discourse trap us.  Too often we let fear immobilize us and we remain silent. Let’s take for example the fear ...

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