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C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Jajuan Johnson, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Dr. Jajuan Johnson is a scholar, oral historian and social justice advocate. He has an extensive career in the public and private sectors. He started his career in pubic history as an AmeriCorp volunteer at the Delta Studies Center at Arkansas State University. He traveled the Lower Mississippi Delta region conducting interviews on labor, race and politics.

As the oral history coordinator for the Central Arkansas Library’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, he was a researcher for the Bill Clinton State Government project. He conducted interviews with former Clinton staffers to contextualize the gubernatorial and attorney general papers. Jajuan later served as principal researcher for the Butler Center’s “Ruled by Race” project which explored race relations in Arkansas.

While serving as the Director of Research and Public Programming at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, an African American history museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, he developed education programing and served as the museum’s communications officer.

During his tenure as special assistant to the President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, he has interfaced with global thought-leaders on economic development and social justice initiatives. 

Jajuan earned a Ph.D. in Heritage Studies from Arkansas State University. He also earned a master’s in Religion from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His dissertation, “They Didn’t Burn Down Our Spirit: Heritage Terrorism and the Resurgence of Black Church Burnings in the Age of Obama,” investigates recent Black church arson cases and explains the implications burnings have on the tangible and intangible heritage of communities impacted.

At Washington College, he administers, manage, and promote activities and programs that sustain the mission of the Starr Center: fostering excellence in the study of American history, politics, and culture; building bridges among diverse academic disciplines and with other institutions; and creating special on- and off-campus opportunities for Washington College students and faculty.

Jajuan served many years as a humanities scholar for the Arkansas Humanities Council. He was featured as a scholarly contributor to ArkansasIDEAS (Internet Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools. He is a member of the Oral History Association, American Anthropological Association, the Association of Critical Heritage Studies and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.