Activist, professor who pushed for anti-discrimination laws in Minn. honored

February 11, 2019 08:44 AM

Minnesota honored one of its strongest voices for civil rights and social justice Sunday.

Gov. Tim Walz stopped by Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis to declare Feb. 10 "Dr. Josie Johnson Day."

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In the 1950s and '60s, Johnson lobbied to pass Minnesota's anti-discrimination laws. She was also at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s side at the March on Washington in 1963.

On Sunday, Johnson reminded those gathered that engaging with each other face to face - instead of online - is what keeps community bonds strong.

"We've gotten to a point, and I guess it's the machines, young brother, that keeps us from looking each other in the eye ... We're now in a culture and in an environment that doesn't listen."

Johnson taught in the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota and became the first African American appointed to the university's Board of Regents.

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