Center for Multicultural Initiatives

Master storyteller, journalist Jeff Johnson to keynote OU’s 2019 Keeper of the Dream

Jeff Johnson will be the keynote speaker for OU's 2019 Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration.

MLK, MLK Day, CMI, speaker

icon of a calendarDecember 3, 2018

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Master storyteller, journalist Jeff Johnson to keynote OU’s Keeper of the Dream event in 2019
Jeff Johnson has been selected as keynote speaker for MLK Day event 2019.

For its annual Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration, Oakland University will welcome award-winning journalist and communications strategist Jeff Johnson to campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.

Johnson has conducted interviews with both former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for BET News, and provides regular content on the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show. His social and political commentaries have been published nationally, and he is often sought out for commentary and analysis about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socio-economics by all of the major networks.

Johnson also co-wrote Steve Harvey’s New York Times best-seller, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success. And, as a communications strategist, he has helped increase Harvey’s social media footprint by 30 percent.

“Mr. Johnson is a master storyteller and will be next in a long line of excellent speakers we have had on campus for our annual Keeper of the Dream scholarship awards event,” said Omar Brown-El, senior director of OU’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives. “Attendees will enjoy hearing his message that comes from his unique perspective.”

In addition to his journalism work, Johnson provides strategic insight and messaging consulting to clients in the private, public and entertainment sectors. He serves as a managing principal of the Baltimore-based strategy firm JIJ Communications, where his client list includes Fortune 500 companies, political institutions and celebrities. As a consultant, Johnson provided leadership for the City of Cleveland’s communications strategy surrounding the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Johnson was born in the UK, raised in Cleveland and attended the University of Toledo, where he was president of the student government and Black Student Union. He also served as national director for the NAACP’s Youth and College Division.

Established in 1993, The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his pioneering work on behalf of civil rights. The event also awards scholarships to OU undergraduates who have contributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by breaking down racial and cultural barriers.

The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration is sponsored by Oakland University’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives.

The nine student scholarship sponsors this year include Autoliv, Beaumont Health, Flagstar Bank, KeyBank Foundation, The Lynne and Lia McIntosh Scholarship, Marshall Family Scholar Foundation, Oakland University Alumni Association, Oakland University Credit Union and Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland.

The Vision Sponsor is Willis Towers Watson.

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