Derric J. Johnson is the founding director of the Equity & Justice Institute at Crossroads. In this role, he collaborates with students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff and the entire School community to make an impact on local, national and global issues.
Serving as a member of the senior leadership team at Crossroads, Derric utilizes his life’s work in social justice advocacy to oversee equity and justice education on campus, build and strengthen the School’s relationships with partner organizations and support community action. He shares, “I could not be more thrilled about the prospect of establishing an Institute focused on service learning for students with the intent of facilitating good in the world. I’m appreciative of Crossroads for being bold, innovative and having the intentionality to extend this Institute’s reach beyond the campus gates.”
Derric has extensive experience in establishing and implementing youth-focused programs. He has served in a number of leadership positions in nonprofits, including the California Community Foundation, the MLK Community Health Foundation, the Alliance for Children's Rights and the Community Oriented Correctional Health Services in Oakland.
He recently served as senior deputy for public safety and justice for the Office of Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. During his tenure, Derric’s numerous legislative achievements include establishing the Civilian Oversight Commission of the sheriff’s department to increase transparency and decrease officer-involved shootings; establishing a Fair Chance Ordinance that would eliminate restrictions on employment opportunities based solely on criminal convictions; and attaining a $30-million increase in state funding for court-appointed counsel for foster youth. He also procured $5 million in state funds to support restorative justice and community-based programs to divert youth from the juvenile justice system.
Derric holds a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, a master’s in business management from Azusa Pacific University and a bachelor’s in psychology and sociology from Pitzer College.
Under Derric’s leadership, the Crossroads School Equity & Justice Institute will develop a cohesive and comprehensive approach to social justice teaching and community engagement, solidifying Crossroads’ founding commitment to the greater community. The founding director position and the Institute are fully endowed through the generous support of our Equity & Justice donors.