ACLU of Georgia

Charles S. Johnson III

Charles Johnson comes from a family noted for breaking barriers – his father as a physician in Ohio, his grandfather as a sociologist and the president of Fisk University. Charles continued the tradition as the first African American professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.  Today, he breaks barriers for lawyers through his commitment to the belief that systemic equality requires the judiciary must reflect the community it serves.  And so, across his legal career, Charles has worked to diversify the judiciary by working with bar associations to ensure African Americans, Black women, Asian Pacific Americans and others are appointed as judges.  

Charles’ influence on Atlanta extends to his leadership for many nonprofit organizations, civic groups and within the legal community. For the two years, he has been the vice president for external affairs and general counsel at Tuskegee University, bringing his public policy expertise and his leadership skills to a leading academic institution.

In 2006 Charles worked with a group of Atlantans in their urgent quest to secure the bulk of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s papers from a pending sale at auction by Sotheby’s in New York and return them to Atlanta to be permanently archived at Morehouse College. The collection includes some of Dr. King’s most iconic and transformational writings.

Charles Johnson creates equality, working tirelessly behind the scenes to change existing institutions and make them better.