Person

Alexis McGill Johnson

Alexis McGill Johnson is the acting President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She entered the role on July 16, 2019 following the departure of Leana Wen. [1] Johnson is the co-founder and co-director of the left-of-center Perception Institute and served as the executive director of Citizen Change during the 2004 presidential campaign. [2]

Johnson serves on the boards of left-of-center groups including Color of Change, Revolutions Per Minute, and the Narrative Initiative. [3]

Planned Parenthood

Following the sudden departure of Leana Wen as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on July 16, 2019, Johnson was named the acting president of the organization. Prior to being named president, Johnson had served as a Planned Parenthood board member for almost a decade and served as board chair from 2013 to 2015. [4]

Johnson said she joined Planned Parenthood as an activist after seeing a pro-life billboard in New York City that read “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” [5][6] Johnson said those that put up the billboard were filled with “hate and anger” and claimed the message implied that black women could not think for themselves. [7]

Johnson was present for the rollout of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013. [8] The bill would have increased access to abortions through limiting the regulations states could implement on abortion providers. [9] The bill’s main sponsor was Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and had 34 other co-sponsors, all Democrats, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). [10]

From 2016 until she became Planned Parenthood’s president in 2019, Johnson served on the board of the group’s lobbying and advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. [11] [12]

Perception Institute

Johnson co-founded and served as co-director of the Perception Institute, a left-of-center organization that studies “bias” among Americans. [13] Perception Institute rose to notability with a “Good Hair” study, which claimed that white women have “explicit bias toward black women’s textured hair” and asserted that black women suffer from the effects of bias against textured hair. [14] As part of her work with the Perception Institute, Johnson helped form the racial bias curriculum that Starbucks implemented in 2018. [15]

In addition to Starbucks, left-of-center organizations that have received a presentation from the Perception Institute include Annie E. Casey Foundation, CNN, Community Catalyst, Earthjustice, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Planned Parenthood. [16]

Left-wing partners of the Perception Institute include the California Endowment, Color of Change, Equal Justice Society, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. [17]

Citizen Change

Johnson was the executive director of Citizen Change during the 2004 election. [18] Recording artist Sean Combs, best known by the stage names “Diddy” and “P. Diddy,” started Citizen Change to boost youth and minority turnout and used the slogan “Vote or Die” to promote his message. [19]

Celebrities that helped Citizen Change backed campaigned for Democratic nominee and then-U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA). R&B singer Mary J. Blige, who spoke at Citizen Change rallies, attended Kerry’s 2004 Victory Concert and spoke about left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, a hit piece against President Bush, at the rallies. [20] Leonardo DiCaprio, known for his left-wing environmental activism, also attended rallies and asked people in attendance to vote for Kerry. [21] DeCaprio’s explicit support for Kerry at the rallies caused the National Legal and Policy Center, a right-of-center group, to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission claiming that Citizen Change violated election law. [22]

In a 2010 interview with “The Young Turks” about the “Vote or Die” campaign, Johnson mocked religious conservatives. While Johnson was discussing how the campaign affected youth turnout in the 2004 election, host Cenk Uygur said that conservatives would not believe her numbers because “they hate science.” [23] In response, Johnson laughed and said “actually, God gave me those numbers.” [24]

Other Left-Wing Groups

Johnson serves on the board of Color of Change, a left-wing online organizing organization founded by Van Jones and James Rucker to be “MoveOn for black people.” [25] Color of Change pushes a left-wing agenda of higher taxes,[26] government-run socialized healthcare,[27] and gun control. [28]

Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) also counts Johnson as one of its board members. [29] RMP connects artists with left-of-center non-profits that they want to help with through ticket add-ons, concert proceeds, and promotional campaigns. [30] Left-of-center groups that support RPM include the Ford Foundation, New Venture Fund, and the Wallace Global Fund. [31]

Johnson also sits on the board of the Narrative Initiative, a project started by left-of-center groups Atlantic Philanthropies and the Ford Foundation. [32] Other Narrative Initiative board members include Ai-jen Poo, the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Alvin Starks, a program director for Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs; and Sabell Rahman, the president of left-wing think tank Demos. [33]

Political Donations

Between 2011 and 2019, Johnson gave over $30,000 to pro-abortion politicians and political PACs. [34] She donated $12,500 to Planned Parenthood’s PAC. Johnson gave the maximum contribution of $2,800 to Senator Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) 2020 presidential campaign. [35] Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) both received funds from Johnson. [36] In 2018, Johnson supported the campaign of self-described socialist U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). [37] During the 2016 election, Johnson gave Hillary Clinton’s campaign the maximum of $2,700. [38] Johnson has also given to moderate Republicans who favor abortion access, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). [39]

References

  1. Planned Parenthood. Twitter Post. July 16, 2019. 4:22 PM. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://twitter.com/PPFA/status/1151225642194747392 ^
  2. “Alexis McGill Johnson.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/our-leadership/alexis-mcgill-johnson. ^
  3. “Alexis McGill Johnson.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/our-leadership/alexis-mcgill-johnson. ^
  4. “Alexis McGill Johnson.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/our-leadership/alexis-mcgill-johnson. ^
  5. YouTube. February 27, 2013. Accessed July 26, 2019.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOuWKFIQg20. ^
  6. Robbins, Liz. “Billboard Opposing Abortion Stirs Debate.” The New York Times. February 23, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/billboard-opposing-abortion-stirs-debate/. ^
  7. Robbins, Liz. “Billboard Opposing Abortion Stirs Debate.” The New York Times. February 23, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/billboard-opposing-abortion-stirs-debate/. ^
  8. “Alexis McGill Johnson Photos – 3 of 3 Photos: Congressional Democrats Introduce New Act.” Zimbio. November 12, 2013. Accessed July 23, 2019. http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Alexis_McGill_Johnson/Congressional_Democrats_Introduce_New_Act/29GR_gsN_2b. ^
  9. Blumenthal, Richard. “S.1696 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013.” Congress.gov. November 13, 2013. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1696. ^
  10. “Cosponsors – S.1696 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013.” Congress.gov. July 7, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1696/cosponsors. ^
  11. “Planned Parenthood 100 Years: 2016-2017 Annual Report.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/71/53/7153464c-8f5d-4a26-bead-2a0dfe2b32ec/20171229_ar16-17_p01_lowres.pdf. ^
  12. “2017-2018 Annual Report.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/4a/0f/4a0f3969-cf71-4ec3-8a90-733c01ee8148/190124-annualreport18-p03.pdf. ^
  13. “Team.” Perception Institute. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://perception.org/about-us/team/. ^
  14. “The “Good Hair” Study Results.” Perception Institute. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://perception.org/goodhair/results/. ^
  15. “Team.” Perception Institute. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://perception.org/about-us/team/. ^
  16. “Services & Solutions.” Perception Institute. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://perception.org/services-and-solutions/. ^
  17. “Services & Solutions.” Perception Institute. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://perception.org/services-and-solutions/. ^
  18. “Alexis McGill Johnson.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/our-leadership/alexis-mcgill-johnson. ^
  19. The Associated Press. “All aboard P. Diddy’s Political Party Plane.” TODAY.com. October 27, 2004. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.today.com/popculture/all-aboard-p-diddy-s-political-party-plane-wbna6346580. ^
  20. The Associated Press. “All aboard P. Diddy’s Political Party Plane.” TODAY.com. October 27, 2004. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.today.com/popculture/all-aboard-p-diddy-s-political-party-plane-wbna6346580 ^
  21. Alfano, Sean. “2004 Diddy Campaign Under Attack.” CBS News. November 15, 2005. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2004-diddy-campaign-under-attack/. ^
  22. Alfano, Sean. “2004 Diddy Campaign Under Attack.” CBS News. November 15, 2005. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2004-diddy-campaign-under-attack/ ^
  23. “Alexis McGill Johnson – Citizen Change & Vote Or Die.” YouTube. June 8, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwtLqX_xTJg. ^
  24. “Alexis McGill Johnson – Citizen Change & Vote Or Die.” YouTube. June 8, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwtLqX_xTJg. ^
  25. Hinton, Eric L. “Color Of Change: Pursuing an “Unapologetically Black” Agenda.” Accessed June 2, 2019. https://www.africanamerica.org/topic/color-of-change-pursuing-an-unapologetically-black-agenda. ^
  26. “Fairness in Taxation Act: make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.” Color of Change Petition. Undated. Accessed June 2, 2019. https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/taxes ^
  27. “Tell Undecided House Democrats to support #MedicareForAll!” Color of Change Petition. Undated. Accessed June 2, 2019. https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/medicare-forall   ^
  28. Nichols, John. “Outrage Is Rising Against Stand Your Ground.” The Nation. July 17, 2013. Accessed June 2, 2019. https://www.thenation.com/article/outrage-rising-florida-and-nationally-against-stand-your-ground/ ^
  29. “Alexis McGill Johnson.” Planned Parenthood. Accessed July 23, 2019. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/our-leadership/alexis-mcgill-johnson. ^
  30. “Strategies.” RPM. Accessed July 30, 2019. http://revolutionsperminute.net/strategies/. ^
  31. “Meet RPM.” RPM. Accessed July 30, 2019. http://revolutionsperminute.net/meet-rpm/#tab-4. ^
  32. “About Us.” Narrative Initiative. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://narrativeinitiative.org/about-us/. ^
  33. “Meet Our Team.” Narrative Initiative. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://narrativeinitiative.org/team-board/. ^
  34. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
  35. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
  36. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
  37. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
  38. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
  39. “Donor Lookup: Alexis McGill Johnson.” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/search?order=desc&q=Alexis+McGill+Johnson&sort=D&type=donors ^
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