Mark Johnson PapersMark Johnson Papers

Mark Johnson Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Mark Johnson Papers
Creator: Johnson, Mark
Dates: 1965-2015
Extent: 13.0 boxes (10.5 linear feet and 20 audiovisual items)
Collection Number: RBRL/349
Repository: 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.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Content

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.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers are arranged in four series: I. Subject and Chronological Files, II. Scrapbooks and Photographs, III. Artifacts and Posters, and IV. Audiovisual Materials.

Administrative Information and Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

Series IV. contains audiovisual records. Reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.

Preferred citation

The Mark Johnson Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

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.

Conditions Governing Use note

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Angelica Marini, 2016.

Related Materials

Access Points

American Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation
Disabilities--Law and legislation.
Paralympic Games
People with disabilities--Care--Planning.
People with disabilities--Civil rights.
People with disabilities--History.
People with disabilities--Social conditions.
Protest movements.
United States. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Related Collections in this Repository

Georgia Disability History Archive

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series I. Subject and Chronological Files, 1981-2011

Extent: 4.0 boxes (3.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Series I. Subject and Chronological files contain materials from national and local organizations that Mark Johnson worked for from 1981 to 2011. The series contains correspondence, flyers, meeting minutes, work files, and reports. Some of the subjects of special note include: national and local ADAPT actions, the 1996 Paralympics in Georgia, and ADA celebration events. Other materials document Johnson’s professional work at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, PAS planning materials and workbooks, and a collection of printed newsletters from various disability rights and advocacy organizations.
11-28[Chronological Files], 1982-2011
129ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act], 1985
130Barbie, 1997
131Campbell, 2000 July 29
132Clinton, 1992-1997
133City of Alpharetta, 1998-2003
134Darius Weems (Go West/Young Man), 2005
135DeKalb Parks, 1990
136DNC [Democratic National Convention], 1988
137Eastern Airlines, 1986
138FDR [Franklin D. Roosevelt], 1997
139Greyhound, 1988
140History, 1989
141Human Crisis, 1990-1992
142Jerry Lewis, 1987-2005
143MARTA [Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority], 1989-2002
144[Margaret Mitchell's Apartment], 1995
145Mr. Magoo, 1997 July 31
146Newt [Gingrich], 1981-1995
147NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard], 1986-1987
148North Carolina [Advancement] School, 1965
149Not Dead Yet, 2002
150Parking, 1989
151Rockefeller, 1990 November 9
152SCI [Spinal Cord Injury] Hall of Fame, 2007
153Speak and Be Heard, 1989
154The Boy King, 1987 June 3
155Trust Fund, 2001
156Walk of Fame, 1988
157Wade [Bank Memorial], 1987
158Mark/Thanks, 1996-2011
1591986, 1986
16085/86 Access Institution, 1985
161Fun Stuff, undated
1621991, 1991
1631989 Thank You, 1989
164Thank You 1987, 1987
165[Thank You Letters and Certificates], 1994-1998
166Thank You Letters and Correspondence, 1987-2000
21[Thank You Letters and Certificates], 2001-2005
22Mark Thank You, 2006-2007
23[Photographs, newsletters, press- Mark Johnson], 2005-2007
ADAPT Materials, 1986- 2012
24[ADAPT correspondence], 1986
25Gareth Fenley, 1988
26[ADAPT press], 1990-1993
27[ADAPT- Michigan], 1995
28[ADAPT- AHCA (American Health Care Association) 1991], 1991
29[ADAPT- Community Care Services Programs], 1989-1993
210[Photos-Events], undated
211[Newspaper clippings about Disability Protesters], 1993
212AAPD [American Association of People with Disabilities] letter, 1988
213Incitement Publications [ADAPT Newsletter], 1994, 2002-2011
214ADAPT articles and news clippings, 1993-1994
215"1995" Detroit, 1995
216[ADAPT- 1993 Actions], 1993
217[ADAPT booklets], 2007-2012
218[Press Clippings], 1987-2005
10[News Clippings- Las Vegas ADAPT Protest], 1994
219[Justin Dart], undated
220[Disabled Dealer- Mark Johnson cover], 2006
221["Outside" Fanlight Productions], 2013
222Mark [Biographical Articles], 2000-2013
223[SCI Summit- 2005], 2005
224["The Spirit of ADA... Lead On" Conference 2010], 2010
225[Miscellaneous Articles, Press], 1987-1992
Paralympics, 1987-2005
226Paralympics, 1996
227[Press Clippings], 1987-2005
228-30Paralympics [1 of 3], 1989-1996
231[Paralympics Programs- 1996], 1996
232"Operation Empowerment" Support Manual, 1987- 2009
233Interdependence: A Project to Promote the Development of Personal Assistance Services, 1993
234[Press Clippings], 1987-1993
235[Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Materials], 1999, 2009
31[PAS Shepherd Center Training Manual], 1997
32[PAS Systems Change: A Workbook for Improving PAS in Your State], 2000
33[To Change the Rule: A Position Paper on Personal Assistance Services in Georgia], 1993
34Life Worth Living- Larry McAffee, 1989-1990
35LGT [Let's Get Together], 1992-1995
36IN=PO [Information and Networking Equals Power and Opportunity], 1986
37Report from the Blue Ribbon Panel on Disability Affairs [Fulton County], 1992
38Olmstead, 1999
39David Jayne, 2001
310Jenny Langley, 1992-1997
311Barnes [Gov. Roy Barnes], 1999
312[Campaign for Full Citizenship], circa 1992
313[Miscellaneous], circa 1990
314Georgians for a Commonsense Health Plan- Life Worthy of Life, 1990-1992
315[Access to Health Care Commission], 1989-1990
316[Free Our People March and Rally], 2003
317Justice for Justin, 2002
318ADA [stickers, cartoons], undated
319ADAPT [stickers, visuals], undated
ADA Celebration Materials, 1997-2010
320[ADA Publications and Programs], 1990
321[Alpharetta Mayoral Proclamation], 2000
322[Initiative 2000], 2000
323[Initiative 2000- Volkswagen], 2000
324[Initiative 2000], 1997-2000
325Torch, 2000
326[Spirit of ADA Torch Relay- National Sponsor Torch Relay Events Highlights], 2000
327[Spirit of ADA Torch Relay], 2000
328[ADA Celebration Calendars], 2000, 2010
329Spirit of ADA Torch Relay Local Coordinator Planning Guide, 2000
330[Event Programs], 2000
Printed Materials, 1986-2010
331[Enforcing the ADA: Looking Back on a Decade of Progress], 2000
332Barrier Awareness Project of the Regional Rehabilitation Institute- Pamphlets, circa 1981
333[ADA 1996 Reports], 1996
334[Miscellaneous Reports, Newsletters], 1986-1992
41[The Reporter, Mainstream], 1990-1992
42Miscellaneous Press, Printed Materials, 1999-2010
43New Mobility, 2001-2010
44Georgia Trend, 2008-2009
45["History, Progress, Transformation: Vision of the Future" ODEP Publication, US Department of Labor, 2008
46[ADAPT holiday greeting, removed from What do we know DVD case], 2003
ADA 25th Anniversary Materials
47[Correspondence], 2015
48[Flyers and Promotional], 2015
49[Programs and Events], 2015
410[Programs and Events- Georgia], 2015
411[Programs and Events- Washington D.C. July 2015], 2015
412[ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) Bookshelf Series Reprints, 2015
413[ADA Celebration Booklets], 2015
414[Making A Difference], 2015
415[New Mobility], 2015
416[Newsletters], 2015
417[Miscellaneous Printed], 2015
418[Commemorative Calendars 2014-2015], 2014-2015
419[Press Clippings], 2014-2015

Series II. Photographs and Scrapbooks, circa 1972-2010

Extent: 2.0 boxes (1 linear foot)
Scope and Content: Series II. includes scrapbooks and photographs related to the life and work of Mark Johnson. Scrapbooks are dedicated to Johnson’s life in in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, and his specific work with the Spirit of ADA Torch Relay in 2000. The photographs include local and regional protests, but the bulk of the photographs document the Spirit of the ADA Torch Relay in 2000.
420[Protests- National], undated
421[Slides], undated
Spirit of ADA Torch Relay Photographs
422[Master List of Spirit of ADA Photographs], 2000
423[Shepherd 1st Presbyterian], 2000
424[Ponce- Carter], 2000
425[King-Center MARTA], 2000
426[Capitol], 2000
427[Visitability City], 2000
428[City-Fulton], 2000
429[Coke-Tech], 2000
430[ADA Torch Relay Negatives Sheets], 2000
431[Spirit of ADA Torch Relay], 2000
12Tom Olin Photographs [17 x 22 black-and-white prints], 1980s- 1990s
5Mark Johnson [Charlotte- Atlanta], 1971-2007
5Mark Johnson [Press], 1971- 1981
5Mark Johnson: The Man Who Relit the Torch of Liberty, 2000

Series III. Artifacts and Posters, 1990-2015

Extent: 6.0 boxes (5.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Series III. includes posters, signs, buttons and ephemera related to disability-related organizations and events, including the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and subsequent ADA celebrations, ADAPT actions, the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. Also included is an extensive collection of T-shirts from regional and national organizations and protests.
6Buttons [ADA, ADAPT, Paralympics, legislation, organizations, disability rights and culture], 1990-2015
6Bullshit Blockers [protest earmuffs], 1990s
6Don't Tread on the ADA patch, 1990s
6Promotional fans: Paralympics Nagano '98, Don't Tread on the ADA, 1996 Paralympic Games, 1996-1998
6License plate: 1996 Paralympics, 1996
6Styrofoam brick: Laguna Honda - Tear Down the Walls - There Is a Better Way! [used to protest hospital and rehabilitation center in San Francisco], 1990s
6 Pelswick Press and Video Kit [animated television program created by cartoonist John Callahan], circa 2000
6ADA promotional material [fans, decals, postcards], 2015
7Posters, protests signs, ADAPT American flags, ADA Celebration posters, oversized clippings, Mark Johnson Caricature by Tony Smith, circa 1990- 2015
7ADA 20th Anniversary poster; ADAPT 25th Anniversary poster, 2009-2010
8[Collages (2) - Paralympics and Torch Relay], 1996
8[Collage - Shepherd Center and Paralympics], 1996
8Scot Hollonbeck Paralympics poster, 1996
8Al Mead Paralympics poster, 1996
8ADAPT 2013 - 30 Years of Activism poster, 2013
8ADA 25th Anniversary poster, 2015
8Rights Worth Fighting For [ADAPT ADA 25th Anniversary] poster, 2015
9ADAPT Painting, undated
10T-Shirts - ADAPT, circa 1990- 2015
11T-shirts - ADA Celebrations, Paralympics 1996, Miscellaneous, circa 1996- 2015

Series IV. Audiovisual Materials

Extent: 1.0 box (20 audiovisual items)
Scope and Content: Series IV. includes audiocassettes, VHS cassettes, and a DVD that document protests, including ADAPT actions, the 1989 Speak and Be Heard Forum, and events where Mark Johnson spoke. Also included are broadcast programs and disability rights songs.
Conditions Governing Access note: Reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
13Audiovisual Materials