Happy Johnson is a nationally acclaimed African-American children’s author and leadership speaker.
He drove an Emergency Response Vehicle in New Orleans post-Katrina and is the Co-Founder of Team Happy Foundation. Established in 2005, the mission of THF is to inspire the next generation of first responders through mentorship, entrepreneurial training, literacy and civil rights advocacy. The displacement of youth after the storm resembled Mr. Johnson’s journey as an orphan in the Ida B. Wells Homes, fueling his desire to help sustain the Crescent City.
To date, the foundation has volunteered more than 45,000 hours rebuilding houses in Orleans Parish; awarded 3,000 new books to low-income kids; taught 4,000 youth how to build a disaster kit and become coastal restoration champions; delivered 3,000 emergency blankets to hospitals throughout Haiti; and trained 3,600 inmates on effective re-entry.
Writer of four books and co-host of GoNOLA TV, Mr. Johnson’s favorite activity is coaching middle school football. News features include American Red Cross 125th Anniversary Publication, USA Today, Esquire Magazine, C-SPAN and The Louisiana Weekly. TIME profiles him in the World History textbook “Civics Today: Citizenship, Economics & You.” Former White House Intern, W.K. Kellogg Fellow, and FEMA National Achievement Award Finalist, Mr. Johnson earned his B.A. from Georgetown University and Management Certificate from Columbia University.