Dr. Theodore R. Johnson to Speak at William Peace University

October 11, 2019

William Peace University will host Dr. Theodore R. Johnson discussing “This is America: Patriotism, Race, and How We Can Unite” on Oct. 21 in Kenan Auditorium at 3:30pm.

Johnson will discuss the increase in racial tensions in America and what it means for the country going forward. He will present how to fight against political divide by uniting as Americans and rallying behind patriotism. He will highlight the power of voting as an American citizen, and how to reduce racial tensions by presenting his idea of the American principle.

“The thing that unites all as Americans isn’t our religion, our race, our ethnicity or any of that,” Johnson says. “We are united by our citizenship, our belief in the American principle.”

Johnson is a military veteran and writer with a PhD in law and policy in which he focused on African-American political and voting behavior. He has more than 15 years of public policy experience, and spent 20 years as a Naval officer. Johnson speaks and writes primarily about issues surrounding social justice, race, and politics. He has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and several other publications. He is a Raleigh native, and he chose this topic due to the closeness of elections and to emphasize the value of unity.

“Instead of racializing topics by pinning one race versus another, I try to show how by creating solidarity across racial lines, we can get a more American experience and feel like we’re all born included in America by demanding more from our government,” he says. “We’re all Americans, and we’re not getting from our government what we should be.”

Johnson is returning to Peace after speaking here three years ago, says Eliza Laskowski, assistant professor of English and chair of the speaker and events committee.

“I have been consistently impressed with his ability to address hot-button issues in a very neutral, open, broad way,” says Laskowski. “His topics look very controversial when you look at them, but the way he addresses them is just the sort of unifying perspective that I think we all need in this day in age.”