Derrick Johnson currently serves as State President for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP, and Executive Director of One Voice, Inc. He recently served as a Mel King Community Fellow with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He holds a Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX and a Bachelor of Arts from Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS. Johnson serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors, the boards of the Mississippi ACLU and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and on the Advisory Council of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center. Additionally, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court as a Commissioner to the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission.
Before assuming his current roles, Johnson served as a Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C., working in the office of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson as well as a Fellow with The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management Minority Fellowship Program. Johnson also served on the staff of Southern Echo, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Jackson, MS as a Regional Organizer providing legal, technical, and training support for communities within six states across the south (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and South Carolina). Later, he successfully managed the Convention Center bond referendum campaign to construct a $65 million convention center in Jackson and Jackson Public School District bond referendum campaign that brought $150M in renovations and new schools to the Jackson, MS area, as well as serving as Vice-Chair of the Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal after 2005’s devastating Hurricane Katrina.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Johnson founded One Voice Inc. (formerly Community Policy Research and Training Institute [CPRTI]), a non-profit social justice organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other disenfranchised communities by increasing civic engagement in the formation of public policy through leadership development, research support, training and technical assistance. Since its inception, One Voice has sponsored an Annual Black Leadership Summit and Institute, advocated for fair education, health care, and voting rights policy, and provided technical assistance to public officials, emerging and established community leaders.
Johnson has also served as Vice Chair of Policy and Advocacy Committee for the National Board of the NAACP, Vice Chair of National Convention Planning Committee for the NAACP, Co-Founder with Congressman Bennie G. Thompson of the MS Black Leadership Institute, Co-Chair of the 50th Anniversary Medgar Evers Tribute Gala, Co-Chair of Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary and adjunct faculty at Tougaloo College , teaching “Policy, Politics, and the Political Process” each fall. He has been annual guest lecturer at Harvard Law School on social movements with Professor Lani Guinier and is a sought-after national speaker and expert on issues including the Voting Rights Act, civil rights, civic engagement, and redistricting.
Derrick Johnson lives in Jackson, MS with his wife, Letitia and their five children.