Q&A with FATHER Project Supervisor James Johnson
Goodwill-Easter Seal Minnesota's FATHER Project program has a new team member, James Johnson, who continues his commitment to service and inclusion efforts in this new role. We sat down to find out more about James and his thoughts on joining the FATHER Project team.
Q: Welcome! You’re the new FATHER Project supervisor. What drew you to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota and what are you excited about in your new role?
A: I have been serving others for over 30 years, and with me being single parent dad, this is the service I always wished I had. I believe my experience and leadership will help further the goals of the FATHER Project.
Q:Tell us about your professional background and where you’ve been in your career before GESMN.
A: I have been working in leadership, primarily in the areas of child protective, juvenile justice, runaway and homeless education.
Q: For employees less familiar with FATHER Project, what would you want them to know about the program?
A: I would want them to know that being a good father is not just improving your parenting skills, it’s about removing barriers that impede your path to improvement. You tell your story and your case manager will help you develop a plan to help you meet your goals. They will also help you become stable, so you can commit to putting your undivided attention on what you feel you need to do to be a successful father. The beauty is that you decide what success is.
Q: In your career of serving people in our community, does any person or initiative stand out to you as memorable? Why?
A: Wherever I have worked, I’ve always been involved in DEI work. Whether is it playing Malcom X or Martin Luther King in a skit, teaching Kwanzaa to children and families, leading African American Parent Involvement Day, creating the Unsung Heroes award for people who would otherwise go unrecognized, or conducting an agency self-assessment on cultural competence - I have always been about educating others about the cultural experience of African Americans and other people of color
Q: We hear you’re an author. What led you to that work and tell us more about your books?
A: Yes, I write about the African American cultural experience from the perspective of people that look like me. I write science fiction and fantasy for both children and adults. My latest books/stories include:
- “Jamal and Me Freedom,” where Summer-Jamal and his brother Jordan travel back in time to 1964 Mississippi to help their great grandmother to vote.
- “Roots Four Zero-A,” in which 14-year-old girl called Zero runs away from her plantation to find her essence.
- “Ol’ Jim Crow’s Jubilee Day Caper,” in which the 1890’s Ol’ Jim Crow, who lives on a cloud wants to stop the once enslaved people from celebrating their freedom.
- “Just Due,” where an international and greedy power couple get their just due.
- My website has more information.