Minneapolis—November 1, 2011—Happy Johnson, author, humanitarian and social entrepreneur whose passion for helping others grew out of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, will speak to more than 450 doctoral students at Walden University’s academic residency on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Arlington, Va.
Transcending a childhood fraught with neglect and obstacles, Johnson has become committed to making the world a better place. He is the founder of Team Happy, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides educational programs, blankets and global humanitarian relief to people in need. This social change initiative grew out of Johnson’s experience as a first responder during Hurricane Katrina. His first nongovernmental organization, Blanket New Orleans, has provided more than 2,000 blankets to homeless families and inspired Team Happy to develop Blanket Haiti, a similar relief mission delivering blankets to orphanages affected by the country’s devastating earthquake.
Johnson is also the author of The Adventures of Happy & Big Wanda, a children’s book teaching teamwork, disaster preparedness and environmental sustainability. These messages are echoed in Team Happy’s Bike Katrina, a 250-mile bike ride that not only surveys progress in the region but also advances educational awareness about coastal restoration and hurricane preparedness. Johnson’s next book, Ready to Rebuild: Leadership from a New Generation of Innovators, will continue to share his personal experiences and empower others for social change.
In addition to advancing his nonprofit, Johnson has served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, rebuilding homes, schools and parks, and joined the American Red Cross Evacuation Support Team in preparation for Hurricane Gustav. A graduate of Georgetown University, Johnson proudly calls New Orleans home.
Academic residencies at Walden, an accredited online university, support students’ academic and professional goals by connecting them with individual faculty mentors, student support staff and hundreds of peers. During residencies, students from select doctoral and master’s programs have the opportunity to conceptualize and develop research that contributes to positive social change.
Walden’s plenary sessions are an integral part of the residencies and are led by speakers from around the world who share an array of experiences and viewpoints with the hope of inspiring debate and lively conversation. These sessions are intended to provide Walden students and faculty and staff members with the opportunity to hear perspectives on a variety of topics that are meaningful and relevant to their lives as scholars and practitioners.
Visit www.WaldenU.edu/perspectives for an archive of past Walden speakers.
About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 46,500 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 55 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries.
Walden offers more than 60 degree programs with more than 300 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.hlcommission.org/.