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Royel M. Johnson, Ph.D. is one of the nation's foremost voices on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in higher education. A tenured professor at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, he chairs the Rossier PhD program and is Director of the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) survey enterprise at the USC Race and Equity Center, where he collaborates with hundreds of colleges and universities to assess campus racial climate for students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Johnson is the author of more than 60 academic papers and chapters, including five books. His newest books, The Big Lie About Race in America’s Schools and From Foster Care to College: Navigating Challenges and Creating Possibilities, are set for fall 2024 release by Harvard Education Press and Teachers College Press, respectively. His research, funded by organizations like the U.S. Department of Education, Spencer Foundation, Walmart Foundation, and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has garnered $6.3 million in support.

He is Co-Editor of Educational Researcher, the flagship journal for the American Education Research Association (AERA). A charismatic and engaging speaker and consultant, Dr. Johnson effectively translates his research and expertise into strategy and solutions to complex DEIB challenges in organizations.

For his contributions to research and practice, Dr. Johnson has been repeatedly recognized by his professional associations including being named a 2024 Diamond Honoree by the American College Personnel Association and an Emerging Scholar by the organization in 2020. From AERA, he received the 2022 Early Career Award from Division G. The Los Angeles Times also recognized Dr. Johnson as a DEIA Visionary in 2023, highlighting his contributions to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in Southern California and beyond.

“We must fundamentally transform systems and structures for a just and equitable future.”

- Dr. Royel M. Johnson


Dr. Johnson is a highly sought-after consultant known for skillfully translating his scholarly expertise into actionable recommendations and strategies for improving campus and organizational policies, practices, and culture. He frequently works with colleges and universities, school districts, corporations, and non-profit organizations on DEIB-related issues and crises, program development and evaluation, and professional learning.

A highly productive and influential scholar, Dr. Johnson has authored over 60 academic publications including five books:





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