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, THF’s mission is to inspire the next generation of first responders through educational programs on crises relief and environmental sustainability. The displacement of youth after the storm resembled Mr. Johnson’s journey from the Ida B. Wells Projects to foster care, fueling his desire to help renew the Crescent City.
To date, the foundation has volunteered more than 45,000 hours rebuilding homes; donated 3,000 new books to kids; taught 4,000 youth how to build a disaster kit and become wetlands restoration advocates; delivered 3,000 blankets to hospitals; and trained 3,600 inmates on re-entry.
Publisher of four books and co-host of GoNOLA TV, his favorite activity is coaching middle school football. News features include Red Cross 125th Anniversary Magazine, Esquire, USA Today, Louisiana Weekly and C-SPAN. TIME features Mr. Johnson 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 is a graduate of Georgetown University and The Center for Disaster Preparedness at 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