Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, was inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale chapter's initiation held on April 11. During the ceremony in Morris Library's John C. Guyon Auditorium on the SIU Carbondale campus, Johnson was presented with a lifetime membership in the Society.
While visiting the school, Johnson also discussed “Leading the Fight for Justice, Equity and Equality” in the Student Center Ballrooms with a meet and greet held after the speaking engagement.
“It is truly monumental to have Mr. Derrick Johnson visit SIU and the Carbondale community,” said LaShonda M. Stewart, director of the Chancellor’s Scholars Program, in a release from the school. Stewart and Johnson were classmates at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi. “His visit is highly significant because he could have visited any other university, but he chose to visit us. It will be a wonderful occasion to highlight and reinforce SIU’s commitment to antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion.”
As the NAACP leader, Johnson remains on the frontlines of today's most important civil rights issues and works to continually elevate the Association's visibility and voice on a national level.
During the Phi Kappa Phi initiation ceremony, SIU Carbondale Chapter President LaShonda Stewart welcomed students and officiated the ceremony. In addition to Johnson, SIU System President Dan Mahony; Sheila Caldwell, chief diversity officer of the SIU System; Randolph Burnside, director of the Medical Education Preparatory program with the SIU School of Medicine; and 38 SIU Carbondale graduate and undergraduate students were inducted as members.