What People Say

 “Allan Johnson gave a riveting presentation that allowed the scales to fall from our eyes at the same time it showed the way to constructive change. Full of humor and empathy for all sides of the issue, his insights were revelations to many of us – even those who work in the disciplines of sociology and psychiatry. It was an unforgettable presentation that left many in the audience both stunned and grateful for the way he gave us permission to begin talking about things on our campus that have always been ‘unmentionable.’”  Elizabeth Ervin, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Arizona

“Allan Johnson’s message is outstanding, timely, and relevant. He is to be applauded for his courage and determination. His attitude and commitment are what is needed in order for white people to be effective allies.”  Chiquita McAllister, Program Chair, Change Agent States for Diversity National Conference

“Allan Johnson has lectured on the Ithaca College campus twice during the last year, and I would recommend him highly as a campus speaker on issues of race and gender justice. He is a superb lecturer who addresses issues of privilege, power, and difference in terms that are very clear and accessible to students. I would especially recommend that those responsible for bringing him to campus be sure to arrange for students to meet with him. As passionate and charismatic as he is in a large lecture hall, he listens well and takes students seriously in a smaller group setting. He seems to love to engage with them and will spend as much time as is allotted to discussing their ideas and responding to their questions with respect and care. My students were powerfully affected by him.”  Carla Golden, Psychology Department, Ithaca College

“As a scholar in residence, Allan Johnson gave two campus-wide talks on gender violence and white privilege, visited Introductory Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Intimate Violence classes, and took meals with several different groups. His message reached hundreds of people on campus and in the local community. I was most impressed with his candid conversations with students about the role of patriarchy in the devastating events of September 11. His style is engaging and his responses are thoughtful, reasonable, and critical. Students are simply drawn in, even if they resist the feminist, anti-racist message. Faculty colleagues have also written me, pleased with the insights they’ve gained from his books and talks. If you are looking for a versatile speaker for your campus, I highly recommend him. He really made a difference at DePauw.”  Kelley Hall, Sociology Department, DePauw University

“I have attended many keynote addresses, and I can think of none that was more effective and affecting than Allan Johnson’s superb presentation to our annual Critical Issues Symposium. Eloquent, humorous, and humane, he has things to say that can help change the world, and a way of saying them that makes that change much more likely to happen.”  Patricia Atkinson, Associate Professor, Hope College

“Allan Johnson’s keynote speech for our 20th Annual Gender Studies Symposium was given to a standing-room only audience. He is a cogent and compelling speaker, and a delight to work with. I recommend him without hesitation.”  Elaine Maveety, Gender Issues Symposium Coordinator, Lewis & Clark College

“Allan’s Johnson’s lecture on gender inequality was the Diversity Action Council’s most highly attended lecture since we began the series two years ago. More than half the audience stayed long after the lecture to ask questions and engage Johnson in further conversation. He is a man who recognizes the struggle for gender equality as a human issue—not a women’s issue. He speaks about patriarchy and male privilege in a direct but non-threatening way, drawing even the most skeptical audience member into the discussion. With compassion, humor, and intelligence, he helps us understand why it benefits everyone—women and men alike—for men to get involved in changing our patriarchal legacy. I’m sure his words inspired many young men and women in the audience who were possibly hearing a feminist discussion with a male voice behind it for the first time.”  Jana Rivera, Senior Program Coordinator, Diversity Action Council, University of Arizona

“Allan Johnson demonstrates a sensitive intellect as he navigates the difficult waters of gender relations. His understanding of patriarchy illuminates the systemic problems it creates for women and men. His clear focus on getting to the heart of the matter, combined with a genuine openness to dialogue, provides far more than a standard speaking engagement. Students and faculty alike will find Johnson engaging and insightful. But more important, he creates a feeling of inclusion and alliance that makes real conversation possible.”  Jack Harris, Sociology Department, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

“Instructive and provocative, Allan Johnson draws on powerful teaching tools to break barriers of gender and challenge his audience to both rethink assumptions and create a dialogue on the experience and consequences of inequality.”  Sue Friedman, Assistant Director, Residence Life, California Institute of Technology

“In Allan Johnson’s well-attended talk, his direct, non-confrontational style was very positively received. What appealed most to listeners was his use of personal experience and relationships to dramatize and interrogate gender expectations and assumptions. His comments created a palpable silence and stillness in a student audience usually characterized by restlessness. I’ve heard many glowing responses from students and gratitude from faculty, accompanied by a marked interest in how men can become more actively involved in gender and women’s issues on campus and in the world.”  Denise Witzig, Women’s Studies Coordinator, Saint Mary’s College (California)

“After hearing Allan Johnson speak to mixed student and faculty gatherings that ranged in size from around thirty to almost a thousand, I can recommend him with great enthusiasm. He is clear, engaging, and stimulating. He is warm and easy to talk with and sets a great tone—appropriately serious and appropriately funny at the same time. And he has a particular gift for stories and humble metaphors that are apt and illuminating on complex points.”  Anthony Rotundo, author of American Manhood, Phillips Andover Academy

“Allan Johnson’s insights into the roles that women and men play in organizations and society are right on target. He draws upon stimulating theories, asks thoughtful questions, and facilitates fascinating discussions that illuminate hidden assumptions we carry with us every day. He has the unique ability to show how men in particular can interrupt the power dynamic that so often polarizes men and women. He is a wise, thoughtful, and inspirational speaker who invites others to join in a thorough examination of gender dynamics and their implications for us all.”  Kim Cromwell, Director of Workforce Effectiveness, BankBoston

“I have heard only rave reviews from students (female and male), faculty and community activists. Everyone was very impressed with how he combined a clear, systemic, and feminist analysis of patriarchy with personal examples and a warm, responsive style. In addition, we were persuaded by how he applied his theoretical analysis to the concrete social issues of violence against women, shared parenting, and the new father.”  E. Kay Trimberger, Women’s Studies, Sonoma State University

“Allan Johnson’s wise and reasoned analysis of gender issues helps students, faculty, and administration do justice to the complex issues of gender, especially as they relate to men’s understanding and behavior.”  Richard H. Hersh, President, Trinity College

“It is so important that we have men like Allan Johnson who can speak with passion and insight about gender inequality. His challenging and welcoming presentations help both women and men learn from their own experience and work together for a more just world.”  Leslie Brett, Executive Director, Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women

“Thanks to Allan Johnson for leading, coaching, and challenging us to talk with one another about privilege, power, and patriarchy. He accomplished his goal to present controversial, often difficult issues with gentle and compassionate clarity, in ways that we not only understood but also related to on a personal level. His willingness to personally engage with this topic is a key to his effectiveness. For some, this was a life-changing event.”  Sharyn S. Boornazian, Dean, Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Studies, Cambridge College

“Feedback from faculty and students has been fantastic. He did a wonderful job of making his point in a way that kept everyone listening and made a significant impact on how men and women on our campus see their culture and community. Many faculty and staff commented on the unusually large number of people who stayed for the discussion following the lecture.”  Stuart Johnson, Counseling Center, Luther College

“Allan Johnson presented a workshop to 160 adults enrolled in the Teacher Certification Program. It was outstanding. He handles difficult topics in a humane and scholarly way and with an amazing ability to deal with critical issues in a non-threatening manner. He received a standing ovation.”  Frank R. Salamon, Academic Director, Alternate Route to Teacher Certification, Connecticut Department of Higher Education

“We especially appreciated his excellent description of patriarchy and intimacy and how they collide in our society. Many staff members said they found the information he provided to be very useful, and had already begun to incorporate his messages into their work with students and staff. His approachability, sense of humor, positive attitude, and ability to keep the audience engaged and interactive all made him a valuable addition to our Sexual Assault Awareness Week program.”  Kathleen G. Kerr, Assistant Director, Residence Life, University of Delaware