Derrick Johnson

Vice Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors


Derrick Johnson currently serves as Vice Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Mr. Johnson previously served 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. Mr. Johnson serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Advisory Council of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, and as an adjunct professor at Tougaloo College. Additionally, Mr. Johnson 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, Mr. 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. Mr. 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, Mr. Johnson successfully managed the Convention Center bond referendum campaign to construct a $65 million convention center in the City of Jackson and Jackson Public School District bond referendum campaign that brought $150M in renovations and new schools to the City of Jackson. Additionally, Mr. Johnson appointed by the Governor of the State of Mississippi as Vice-Chair of the Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal after devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mr. 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 sponsors an annual Black Leadership Summit for elected and appointed officials and established the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute, a nine month program to support local leadership development for emerging and established community leaders between the ages of 25 – 45.

Additional Appointments

  • 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
  • Adjunct faculty, Tougaloo College, teaching “Policy, Politics, and the Political Process” each fall
  • Annual guest lecturer at Harvard Law School on social movements with Professor Lani Guinier
  • Sought after national speaker and expert on issues not limited to the Voting Rights Act, civil rights, civic engagement, and redistricting