Happy Johnson is a nationally acclaimed African-American children’s author and humanitarian.
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 literacy, mentoring, entrepreneurship workshops and civil rights advocacy. The displacement of youth after the storm resembled Mr. Johnson’s journey from the Ida B. Wells Homes to foster care, 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; donated 3,000 new books to kids; taught 4,000 youth how to build a disaster kit and become coastal restoration champions; delivered 3,000 emergency blankets to Haiti; and trained 3,600 inmates on effective re-entry.
Author 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, he holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and Management Certificate from Columbia University.
Honors & Awards:
Met President Pena Nieto (Mexico), Aznar (Spain), Yushchenko (Ukraine), Clinton, Bush, Obama
Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress Fellowship
Completed 3 Marathons (26.2 Miles)
First Pitch Honor at Zephyrs Baseball Stadium
Archbishop James P. Lyke Leadership Award
Father James T. Sweeney Award for Scholarship
Alexander of Hales Award for Leadership
Lena Landegger Community Service Award
Lambert H. Spronk Medal of Service
Howard R. Swearer National Humanitarian Award
U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
Honorary Eagle Award from Warren Easton High School
Martin Luther King Holiday Planning Commission, Member
City Council of New Orleans Honorable Proclamation
State of Louisiana Honorable Proclamation
Gambit Weekly 40 under 40
New Orleans Magazine People to Watch
Kiwanis Club Tommie Cotton Humanitarian of the Year
FEAM National Achievement Award Finalist
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Fellow
Alliance For Good Government Civic Leader of the Year