During this episode, Eric and I will discuss how he builds supports and advocacy within the school district, and how this work impacts vulnerable families in Pasadena, California. We’ll also discuss the role mentors have played in his life, and his work as a Liaison for the DeVos Urban leadership Initiative.
Eric V. Johnson has served urban youth for over 40 years as a pastor/director/educator. He currently serves as the Director of Partnerships & Collaborations for Stars, where he is responsible for building support and advocacy within the school district around systemic issues impacting vulnerable families in Pasadena, California.
Born during the “Jim Crow era” in our country, he is the son of a law enforcement officer, who with his partners were part of a notoriously abusive culture with no accountability. As a result, he endured tremendous physical and emotional abuse at home and later became a victim of molestation. Through his mother’s intervention, the church became a refuge and at an early age committed his life to changing that culture.
“Pastors and mentors reached out to me as a teenager dealing with abuse and molestation. They gave me hope and let me see my God-given value. Ever since then my passion was to give that same hope to others.” This passion fuels his collaborative work which includes, administrating a Summer School on behalf of the local school district and serving as the Southern California Liaison for the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative.
Eric’s other passion is writing scripts for film, TV, animation and comics with his partners in their trans-media company, Blaqueink. “I love storytelling!! I love how this medium can impact people in a way that no pulpit can. I have no doubt that if Jesus was walking the Earth today, his parables would have been films and TV!” He pastors a house church with his wonderful wife, Ana Maria that reaches out to others in the industry.
Eric and Ana currently live in Arcadia. They have one daughter, Daniella, who is finishing her Masters program at USC in order to teach Special Needs students.