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Johnson Recognized as One of NAACP’s 2010 Men of the Year

Published: August 16, 2010

Kevin Johnson, a full-time lecturer in Communication Studies, was among a group of honorees recognized recently as 2010 Men of the Year by the Long Beach chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Men of the Year honorees are designated as people who are “significant in helping to shape the city of Long Beach.” They are people who “are well-respected, devoted men who interact in a positive manner on family, spiritual, community and civic bases.” Additionally, honorees are selected for “not only being there for friends and family but also for the community of Long Beach.”

In part, Johnson was selected as a Man of the Year for creating and directing the inaugural Hope and Freedom Film Festival, which took place on May 22 at the Long Beach Art Theatre.

The mission of the festival, according to Johnson, is to help create a society where all individuals have equal rights. In its first-ever presentation, the festival encouraged film submissions that further the broad goals of ensuring political, social, educational and economic equality for all people. And, it sought to reward entries from all skill levels that used the power of cinema to inspire hope in the pursuit of freedom from hatred, discrimination and oppressive conditions.

“It has been an honor to serve the city of Long Beach and the Long Beach Branch of the NAACP as we continue to improve the lives of people,” Johnson said. “I am truly grateful for the recognition, and am honored to be included in this group of honorees who have significantly contributed to the improved quality of life in the greater Long Beach area.”

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

At the event honoring this year’s Men of the Year, Johnson received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate and signed by 25th District State Senator Roderick D. Wright of Inglewood. It read in part, “In honor of your recognition by the Long Beach Chapter of the NAACP and in appreciation of your dedication and leadership within our community, through the services you provide, the quiet work you do and the genuine inspiration you offer.”

Johnson finished his master’s degree at CSULB while a graduate research fellow at the campus’ Center for First Amendment Studies. He went on to earn his Ph.D. at the University of Texas and has returned to the campus as both a faculty member and the director of research for the center.

–Rick Gloady