Aja Johnson, Ethnic Studies

Favorite class or professor? Why?

My favorite and most influential professor was Dr. Andrea Moore. She pushed me academically and was the first black teacher I remember having.

Next steps after graduation?

I’d like to find a position working with youth and eventually I want to open up a social justice arts non-profit for youth. In the fall, I plan on applying to graduate school and possibly pursuing a master’s in community development.

Why did you attend Sac State?

I loved the diversity at Sac State and Sacramento is a very diverse area racially, economically and politically. I really wanted to be in an area, especially as an ethnic studies major, where I could develop my education around a diverse community. It’s also more affordable because it’s a state school. I’m so glad I came to Sac State because it has such a strong working-class population and for me as someone who is from a working-class background, that was really important for a sense of belonging and feeling like other students and faculty understood where I was coming from.

Best memory?

My best memory is definitely collaborating with other student employees on events that I did. I had the opportunity to develop the social justice leadership seminar at the Multi-Cultural Center. That was really fulfilling for me because the work that I do is really about the students. I want students who have similar backgrounds as me to feel affirmed and that we have a place to discuss social justice and issues that are important to us.

Advice for freshman?

My advice for freshman would be to get involved in finding a community that really affirms you and supports you whether that’s academic or social or athletic, whatever it might be. Also, if you have a professor who you really like, just go talk to them because that’s how I found out about so many opportunities that I pursued.

What would your “walk-up” song be?

Outstanding by the Gap Band.

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Aja Johnson