Tammy Johnson

Principal Partner
Art/Work/Practice

Tammy is a dancer, writer, and equity analyst living in Oakland, California. As an organizer in Milwaukee, Tammy directed campaigns on economic justice, electoral reform and public education. Tammy’s gift for strategy and ability to nurture strong relationships led to a decade at Race Forward advancing racial justice at as a national organizer, trainer, writer, policy analyst and public speaker. She co-produced the television special "Colorlines: Race and Economic Recovery" and wrote for the Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, and Colorlines.com. Johnson is a principle partner of Art/Work Practice, a firm that advances cultural strategies through an equity-based approach.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Designing Out of Dystopia

Beginning with the 2016 election cycle, there has been a sharply increased onslaught on racial and social justice movements and the communities at their forefront. For many of our communities an endless spate of hate speech, propaganda, executive orders, white nationalism, ‘Muslim bans,’ gun violence, global warming, nuclear war, and the new merging of technology and state power makes it seem like we’ve entered dystopia -- even as it’s framed as a utopia (for some). This is especially challenging for our movements because it can result in a diminishing of the hope we need to survive and to leapfrog the current moment to create the world we imagine. Popular culture and the arts are tools for creating hope and can help us design ourselves out of dystopia. In this workshop we’ll discuss the use of utopian and dystopian narratives in worldbuilding and culture creation, use classic dystopic scenarios from pop culture and the arts to imagine our way out and apply the tactics we create to our current movement moment. We’ll invite participants to create alternative race-explicit story lines to popular dystopic narratives like The Hunger Games; Blade Runner; Terminator; Maze Runner; Divergent; Matrix; Justice League; Independence Day. We’ll examine the racialized narratives inherent in these stories, create alternative story lines; then apply the elements of the new stories to develop solutions for some of our most intractable racial justice organizing challenges.

Speakers: AIsha Shillingford, Tammy Johnson

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Framing Issues with a Racial Equity Lens

Belief systems, which inform policy and law, can contribute to and perpetuate injustice. This injustice rests on unconscious and conscious beliefs about who matters in society and who does not. In order to make right what is inherently wrong, collective action is required. This learning module created in conjunction with Race Forward uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. This module provides examples of how injustice is perpetuated through the media and court systems. By working with art, film clips and other activities participants will learn the importance of framing an issue with a racial equity lens and practice it.

Speakers: Tammy Johnson, Lisa Abbott