Class of 2020

Brown skinned non-binary person with very short haircut, wearing browline glasses, blue button-down shirt. Najma's arm is crossed as they smile. In the background is a photo art of various ridged squares composed together.

Najma Johnson

Anti-Violence Activist, disability/language justice advocate, organizer, educator, & author

Learning, Sharing, Relearning and Strengthen our community(ies).

We are proud to induct Najma Johnson into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Najma Johnson, MA, a BlackDeafBlind Trans non-binary folx, is currently the Executive Director at DAWN , a anti-violence agency providing services for the DeafDisabled, DeafBlind, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late-deafened who experienced power-based violence. Najma earned their BA in Deaf Studies and MA in Mental Health Counseling at Gallaudet University. Najma grew up in a Black hearing non signing household in a Black community. From there, that’s when Najma faced how phonocentrism and audism is embraced and upheld in all forms. This experience helped center their activism and that’s when their work started.

Najma co-founded Together All in Solidarity (TAS), an umbrella anti-violence community collaboration that functions as a network for marginalized communities within the Deaf Community. Transformative Justice and abolition work is the core of Najma’s values. Under TAS, Najma has provided consultation in various capacities from organizing to policy development, trauma-centered work and anti-violent workplace training. Najma’s 2 grandchildren are the catalyst of becoming involved in k-12 anti-violence work. They both experience different forms of violence based on their identities as an Afro-Apolynesian and as children of domestic violence. This led Najma to become dedicated to trauma-centered anti-violence work within the Deaf community. Najma is an Anti-Violence advocate for Creando Lazos where they provide support and education to address language justice and violence within the k-12 and higher education.

Najma has worked exclusively with DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Deaf, Hard of Hearing Deaf folx who experienced multiple violence based on their hearing status and other identities, and domestic violence and sexual violence survivors who have experienced cultural challenges that arise from seeking Deaf services due to intersectional identities. Najma is also an adjunct professor at Gallaudet University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf , the first liberal arts and first technological college respectively teaching about systematic oppression, marginalization, social constructs and criminalization of Black and Brown people.

Their lifelong work to reduce violence is led by a commitment to transformative justice and actively looking to reduce harm and address systems of oppression.