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Friday, September 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Dr. Ernest L. Johnson, Esq.
President, Louisiana State Conference and Member of NAACP National Board of Directors

Ernest L. Johnson has over 39 years professional, leadership and management experience in a number of high‐level legal, financial, educational, and civic and public policy positions. Mr. Johnson is a Member to the NAACP National Board of Directors and Assistant Treasurer. He has been Chairman of the Memberships and Units Committee since 2009. In 2001, he was appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a public delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

A 1973 honors graduate of Grambling State University with a major in political science and a minor in economics, Mr. Johnson earned his law degree from Southern University Law Center, where he also received recognition for numerous academic and civic achievements, including election to the office of president of Southern’s Student Bar Association. In 2007, he was inducted into the Southern University Law Center Alumni Hall of Fame. As an added extra, in 2006, he received his first patent as inventor of an automatic hair washing device “the RediWash” from the United States Patent Office in Washington, D. C.

After a distinguished academic career in which he was awarded the prestigious Earl Warren Legal Fellowship and the Baker‐Voorhis Award, among other honors, Mr. Johnson established a multifaceted legal practice specializing in general, corporate and Civil Rights litigation. Over the past 36 years, Mr. Johnson has served as lead counsel, co‐counsel or legal consultant on a number of high profile public interest and Civil Rights cases that have had a profoundly positive and lasting impact on justice for minorities, the quality of public and higher education, and the resolution of
legal issues related to financial and insurance industries. Including serving as lead counsel in the Case of Clark v. Edwards, which lead to the interrogation of the Louisiana Judicial System in 1991.

Beyond his legal career, Mr. Johnson, an ordained Minister, has achieved distinction in numerous other educational and civic endeavors. He served for one year as vice‐chairman of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Committee for Grambling State University, which resulted in significant operational and educational improvements, and has served as an adjunct professor at Southern University Law School since 1984 teaching Civil Rights Litigation, Trial Advocacy and Law Office Management. He is the senior pastor of Windows of Heaven Ministry.

His past civic achievements are also noteworthy. He has been President of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP being elected in 1995 and served as a member of the NAACP’s National Resolutions Committee from Region VI for twelve years. During his tenure with the NAACP, he has consistently won many of the top awards for related achievements, including the Alexander Pierre Tureaud Award, the Thalheimer Award, Kelly M. Alexander Award in 1997 and 2008, and the Medgar Evers Award, to name a few.

Mr. Johnson has an extensive and proven working knowledge of financial and insurance institutions, budgeting and personnel management procedures. Since 1996, he has been president and CEO of Louisiana Community Development Capital Fund, Inc., (Capfund) a consulting company that provides financial and business management assistance to small emerging businesses. He also served as President and CEO of Life Savings Bank in Baton Rouge for three years. He has gained extensive experience in the television and radio station business development serving as co‐founder of WNDC AM Baton Rouge (1988), KCLF AM New Roads (1990), WTQT‐LPFM Baton Rouge, KVTZ‐LPFM Breaux Bridge, KOUS‐LPFM Monroe and KTJZ‐FM Tallulah. Television stations K31Shreveport, K45 Monroe and K38 Alexandria(2011). Mr. Johnson filed all documentation required to obtain FCC approval for these stations, developed operating procedures for each and served as operations compliance officers.

Current Topic


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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