Damon "Shuja" Johnson

Damon "Shuja" Johnson

Black Men Speak, Inc.

he/him

Fall 2021

Damon "Shuja" Johnson (he/him) was born and raised in Oakland, California. Over the years, Damon has made an impact in his community through social and civic services and is the founder of Black Men Speak, Inc. an organization promoting healing and restorative justice to Black and Brown men and women.


What excites you about your work?

Empowerment of the African America mental health community, as well as working with communities of color.

Black Men Speak, Inc specializes at the intersection of restorative justice, cultural representation, and mental health access for Black and Brown people. Our programs center the 8 dimensions of wellness and support the whole individual in a restorative manner.


What feels rich and abundant in your work?

Creating new programs and building capacity within the Black Men Speak organization. I'm excited about the new Forensic Peer Specialist program development.

We live in a world where Black men are constantly dehumanized and devalued; ableism is one head of the multi-headed demon we face. To do this work, we recognize the need to meet people where they are, whether they be disabled, or with limited ability, mentally and physically. BMS has invested in collective freedom by removing ourselves from the isolation imposed on us by society. Black men, especially those who are disabled, share space offered here to find wellness and clarity through their previously silenced voices. But in order to do that, we have to provide people with access.

We live in a world where Black men are constantly dehumanized and devalued; ableism is one head of the multi-headed demon we face. To do this work, we recognize the need to meet people where they are.”

Who do you dedicate your work to?

I dedicate my work to all of the other brothers and sister who are still incarcerated and still in the prison system. Black Men Speak is a program that is waiting for you with open arms and resources when you get home.

Who inspires you, who are you learning from, what books are you reading?

My Grand Mother Grandfather, Mr. and Mrs. Stillwell and the many unsung common folks.

Book: Vision For Black Men, by Dr. Naneem Akbar and many more.

How can people reading this support the work you are doing?

Subscribe to POCC newsletter,  visit Black Men Speak.org, and watch the The Wendel Al-meen Show (CH. 29) on Youtube.

What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?

Young age vs old age and the pros and cons.

What is your own wellness routine? How do you find balance?

Time to myself and work on cars of mine.

Meet other grant recipients

Adrian-Xavier Scott

The Transistance Network

Angel Alicea

Black Inmate Commissary Fund

Ash "Lightning Woman" Frandsen

Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader

Ash Canty

Sovereign Spirit Death Care

Ayesha Walker

Cofounder, CEO of BE-IMAGINATIVE

Bernadette Lim

Freedom Community Clinic

Betania Ridenour

Somatic Experience Practitioner

Brooke Rodriguez

Cofounder, The Grinding Stone Collective

C. Marie Long

Nature Center for Meditation

Chelsey Thomas

Sexuality Educator

Damon "Shuja" Johnson

Black Men Speak, Inc.

Dandelion Hill

Peer Support Space

Danny Fluker

Black Boys Om Inc

Ekua Adisa

Gender Expansive Liberationist Medicine Person

India Harville

Embraced Body

Jordan Daniel

Founder, Rising Hearts

Joseph Dupris

Assistant Professor of Linguistic and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Joshua Biron

Anishinaabe Cultural Specialist, Anishaable Agriculture

Julia Mallory

Founder, Black Mermaids

Karen Faulkner

Yoga Instructor

Katherin Canton

Cofounder, Toj + Tijax

Kelsey Daniels

The Dream Experiment

Kiesha Battles

I Am Yoga CLT

Kristie Cabrera

Occupational Therapist

Kristina Jones

Guardian Lane

Krysta Venora

Founder, Pink Opal Magic

Laura Yohualtlahuiz Rios-Ramirez

Lotus Do

Founder, Financial Liberation Movement

Louis Mitchell

Reverend, Activist

Mangda Sengvanhpheng

Founder, BACII

Margaret Andersen

TouchBot Pleasure Tech

Megan (Pumehana) Cabral

Founder, Queer Kanaka

Micaela Zamora

Community Aid

Natasha Thomas

Black Creative Healing

Oceana Sawyer

End of Life Doula

Paulina Almarosa

Founder, Latinx Grief

Queen Hollins

Earthlodge Center

Raeanne Madison

Founder, Postpartum Healing Lodge

Raegan Robinson

Yoga Instructor

Raquel Savage

Founder, Zepp Wellness

Roshni Kavate

Grief Healer

Sally Ortiz Castro

Transgenerational counselor, Acupuncturist and Reiki practitioner

Stef Mandingo

Founder, Keep It Cute

Tejal Patel

Tejal Yoga

Tomas Ramirez

Executive Director, Semillas y Raices

Tristan Katz

Founder, Tristan Katz Creative

Veronica Agard

Founder, Ancestors in Training

Xā Carter

Founder, Xude Yoga

Zami Tinashe Hyemingway

Spiritus Wellness

Zel Amanzi

Rest In Power Yoga + Reiki

Ready to make a change, for good?

Get in touch