Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Mark Johnson is the Director of Advocacy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and has been an advocate and leader in the disability rights movement for over thirty years. His papers contain subject and chronological files, artifacts, t-shirts, and audiovisual materials related to his work as a disability advocate, organizer, and professional.
Mark Johnson is the Director of Advocacy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He holds a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and has been an advocate and leader in the disability rights movement for over thirty years. In the early 1980s Johnson helped found ADAPT, a group initially committed to organizing around issues of accessibility in public transportation. He was arrested at a protest in Colorado and has since been committed to direct action, public protest, and civil disobedience in his activism. After moving to Georgia in 1986 he continued his involvement with ADAPT and lent his voice and skills to numerous protests and actions. As a member of ADAPT he participated in the 1989 protest of Atlanta HUD offices, which drew national attention, as well as a three day protest in 1996, which resulted in over eighty members arrests.
Mark Johnson is also a leader in advocating for the rights of the disabled through his commitment to networking and publicizing the community. He was involved with the X Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and was a major organizer for the Spirit of ADA Torch Relay in 2000, an event that commemorated the signing of the ADA in 1990. Mark Johnson has remained committed to improving individual lives in the community but has also been an important voice in recognizing the need to preserve and publicize the history of the disability rights movement. He currently serves as the Chair of the ADA Legacy, a group committed to recording, preserving, and promoting the history of the ADA and was instrumental in helping to create the Georgia Disability History Alliance and the archive.
The Mark Johnson Papers document his work as an advocate with national and local organizations, his professional work at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, and his activity and organization for various events like Paralympics 1996 and ADA celebrations in Georgia. The collection contains correspondence, press clippings, planning files, workbooks, flyers, t-shirts, posters, flags, and other artifacts.
Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.