James H. Johnson Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center. His research interests include community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity issues.
Dr. Johnson and Dr. John D. Kasarda coauthored “The Economic Impact of the African American Population on the State of North Carolina" and a study on the economic impact of North Carolina’s Hispanic population. With support from the Russell Sage Foundation, Dr. Johnson published research on the economic impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. metropolitan communities. Currently he is researching the economic and employment impact of white collar job shifts offshore on U.S. competitiveness.
Dr. Johnson examines the causes and consequences of growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects socially and economically disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation, and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues.
He has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and three research monographs and has co-edited four theme issues of scholarly journals on these and related topics. His latest book is "Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angles."
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (9)
Diversity & Inclusion
Community Development and Outreach
General Alumni Association Faculty Service Award (professional)
Awarded by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Distinguished Service Award (professional)
Awarded by Pitt Community College.
Community Service Award (personal)
NACCP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Michigan State University: Ph.D., Demography 1980
University of Wisconsin-Madison: M.S., Business 1977
North Carolina Central University: B.S., Business 1975
Media Appearances (2)
Expert: Mecklenburg must protect, prepare its minority and poor students
The Charlotte Observer online
Any community that writes off its black, Hispanic and low-income students sabotages its own future. That was the message delivered by UNC-Chapel Hill demographics expert James Johnson at a Tuesday forum on demographic trends that affect student assignment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools...
Hope and Dreams
Fast Company online
Unfortunately, warns James H. Johnson Jr., dreams like those don't stand much of a chance in a troubled neighborhood. A geographer with a PhD, a professor with an endowed chair at a leading business school, an expert on poverty, and a tireless activist for social justice, Johnson understands that Duke University and D'Mario's neighborhood are close physically — but in reality they couldn't be farther apart. They're two different worlds: one blessed with opportunities, the other choked with obstacles...
Peering through the Window of the 2010 CensusThe Boule Journal
2011 ABSTRACT: We believe that clues already exist regarding the nature, magnitude and direction of the major demographic shifts of the past decade. More specifically, there are, in our view, six trends that Census 2010 will likely confirm with hard and reliable data.
Jobs on the Move: Implications for U.S. Higher EducationPlanning for Higher Education
2008 ABSTRACT: American colleges and universities must also pursue a variety of strategies and delivery mechanisms to address the education needs of lifelong learners. These include online and distance education programs, evening and weekend classes and programs, and other flexible options such as courses of varying length that meet the needs of displaced workers ...
Economic Globalization and the Future of Black AmericaJournal of Black Studies
2008 ABSTRACT: This article assesses the African American experience with economic globalization—the increasing tendency for goods and services consumed in the United States to be produced offshore in countries like Mexico, India, and China. It documents the racially disparate effects of the shift of blue-collar jobs offshore ...
Management Academy for Public Health: Creating Entrepreneurial ManagersAmerican Journal of Public Health
2007 ABSTRACT: An external evaluation found that 119 teams trained during the first 3 years of the program generated more than $6 million in enhanced revenue—including grants, contracts, and fees through their business plans—from $2 million in program funding. Approximately 38% of the teams expected to generate revenue from an academy business plan or a spin-off plan. Action-learning methods can help midcareer managers transfer their training to the workplace and build entrepreneurial skills.
Minority Exclusion in Small Town AmericaPoverty and Race
2005 ABSTRACT: Using GIS-based spatial analysis and mapping techniques, we have begun to document several pernicious forms of contemporary racial discrimination which are sapping the lifeblood from African American and other minority communities in towns across the United States.