Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to associate professor, scholar, research consultant, educator, and black male advocate, Waldo Johnson. Mr. Johnson earned his BA at Mercer University in Sociology, received his MSW from the University of Michigan, and earned his doctorate in Social Welfare Policy at the University of Chicago.
He is a member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males; ACF’s Welfare and Economic Self-Sufficiency Technical Working Group; 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys; Chair, Commission on Research and member of the Board of Directors, Council on Social Work Education; Co-Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Research and Information Consortium, Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council; sits on the board of directors of the Center for Family Policy and Practice; and is the editor of Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy. Here is Professor Johnson in his own words on black men and the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement:
There are certain kinds of expectations, such as personal responsibility, that society holds for these men that are unmatched by society’s commitment to them given their evolving social statuses and wellbeing from boyhood to adulthood. As a society, we must look very closely to ensure that responsibility is not just individually framed and whether certain structures exist that contribute to their weakened statuses as boys and young men of color. This is what Black Lives Matter means and indeed social work can play a central role in advocating and working toward a just society in which black lives, like all lives, matter.
Today we honor Dr. Waldo Johnson as our Evolved Man of the Week.