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Daily Inspiration: Meet Christina Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Johnson.

Hi Christina, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Denica and I are two of four sisters: with children ranging the stages of child development – infant to 17 years old. As sisters and parents, we discuss how critical parenting is to the development of our children’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. We begin discussions around how we could help support other parents/caregivers in developing a family value system that is inclusive. We hoped to prepare them with the tools to advocate for themselves and others. With this in mind, we knew it would be important to share resources that would empower them and help share conversations around the “isms”.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Realizing that we are at a crossroads….and that parents can be agents of change has been inspiring but has brought on some challenges. We have realized that not everyone is open to the concept of beginning conversations about being inclusive early and often. Fortunately, we have spent time with families that are willing to commit to the lifelong journey of evaluating their own biases in an effort to be positive examples for their children. There are wonderful resources that we see people embracing to take steps toward cultural humility.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Denica Gordon-Mandel – is a licensed therapist specializing in evidence-based therapies including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as well as providing CBT-Based Treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB). Ms. Gordon-Mandel has experience providing therapy to adults and adolescents, treating anxiety disorders, mood disorders, relationship concerns, as well as female maturational transitions such as pregnancy, infertility, menopause, navigating work/life, dating, and partnership issues.

Christina Johnson – With over 15 years of experience in higher education, Christina Johnson leads efforts for parent engagement, philanthropy, and communication. Her intentional and compassionate approach towards effectively building community relations for systemic social change are also demonstrated in her experience and expertise in community engagement and program development.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
We have an incredible board that have supported our efforts. Here is a little bit of information on the members that have been most involved: – Jessica Borelli who is a faculty member at UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology and is a clinical psychologist specializing in children and families. – A. Rafik Mohamed who is the dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at California State University-San Bernardino. Mohamed’s research has focused on domestic drug policy, sports sociology, and issues of racial identity and inequality in the United States.

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