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Meet the newly appointed Community Relations Manager

April 15, 2021

Chris “CJ” Johnson shares his professional journey and what led him back to Gallaudet.

An integral component of DEDI’s work involves not only creating a robust strategic, actionable, and measurable plan, but also creating conduits and platforms for the GU community to know, understand, react and respond to these plans and initiatives and providing cogent feedback. One of the ways DEDI will accomplish this is by creating a stronger alliance that ensures all communication forms are inclusive to the community. Gallaudet Communications, led by Brandi Rarus, recently hired a Community Relations Manager, Christopher Johnson, who will be responsible for making this vision a reality.

Chris, widely known as “CJ” in the Deaf community, is a Gallaudet alumnus, and trailblazer who has worked with various deaf organizations and institutions to elevate the voices and presence of deaf young people of color. Chris brings his wealth of expertise and passion in the midst of significant transformative changes at Gallaudet.Chris’ role includes building and leading relationships for the University where he will work closely with the campus community, student organizations, stakeholders, and the global Deaf community.

Chris will develop and strategize equity, diversity, and inclusion-related communication plans including the University’s forthcoming anti-racism policy. After months-long relationship-building with the Gallaudet Community and stakeholders, Chris will reach out to national and local Deaf organizations such as National Black Deaf Advocates, Council de Manos, Asian Signers, National Association of the Deaf National Asian Deaf Congress, and many more to create more thoughtful, insightful, and meaningful communication channels and collaboration opportunities.

Within weeks of his first day of work, he’s already worked closely with several members of the DEDI team to further its interest in creating and implementing several initiatives that would amplify a wide array of diverse cultural backgrounds such as sharing multiple stories of faculty, staff, and student experiences at Gallaudet while also ensuring messages conveyed through the University Communications team utilize the outstanding crafts and resources available to the campus community.

Some of the ways Chris intends to strengthen his relationship with colleagues and empower students by:

  1. Staying actively engaged with stakeholders and listening to their voices and how they may be incorporated into marketing strategies and communication planning.
  2. Cultivating relationships with community representatives strengthening relationships within and outside of the GU community.
  3. Providing ongoing support as an ambassador for Gallaudet and liaison and advisor to the Chief Marketing & Undergraduate Admissions Officer.
  4. Investing in community leadership by providing presentations on various critical issues in the Deaf community.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing golf, staying in touch with family both virtually and in person, and practicing self-care through reading non-fiction or documentary books.

To read more about Chris’ formal, educational, and social justice background, click here.

15 April 2021


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