|The second in our series of Fall convocations and this year's presentation for the Bartling Lecture Series. Dr. Josie R. Johnson will present on voting rights and equality in America.|
Dr. Johnson has been active in the civil rights movement since her teen years when she and her father gathered signatures for an anti-poll tax petition in her hometown. In 1963, Johnson attended the historic March on Washington. And a year later, she and a multi-racial group of women went on a secret fact-finding mission to Jackson, Mississippi. Their goal was to witness first-hand what was happening to African Americans who were trying to register to vote. Now, in an era where voting rights are again under assault in the United States, Josie Johnson remains dedicated to the struggle. Last year when the proposed Voter ID initiative was on the ballot in MN, she helped defeat that measure. For Johnson, the Voter ID movement was a cruel step backward, reminding her of the days of poll taxes and other measures denying black people to the right to vote.