Advocacy of Rob Johnson '90 Noted in Chicago Sun-Times
May 23, 2011
May 23, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "When WBBM-Channel 2 anchor Rob Johnson was asked to be the master of ceremonies for the Neumann Family Services' spring fund-raiser Tuesday at the Merchandise Mart, no one had to twist his arm," begins a story in today's Chicago Sun-Times. "Supporting people with disabilities is an issue dear to Johnson's heart. His younger brother, Edward, lives with Down syndrome."
The mission of Neumann, writes Stefano Esposito, is "helping people with disabilities live more independent lives by integrating them into the community as much as possible. The organization "is raising money to build an industrial-size teaching kitchen for the agency’s clients. Johnson said teaching such skills is vital in making folks like his brother more marketable in their search for work. Too often people with disabilities end up doing short-term, menial work, he said.
The article notes Johnson's community outreach efforts on behalf of the disabled. "When Johnson is at the podium, there’s a good chance he'll talk about an issue that he brings up whenever he can: Getting people to stop using the 'R' word, or 'retarded.' Use that word in Johnson's presence, and he may ask you, bluntly, if you’re referring to his brother. 'It's a little awkward,' the DePauw University graduate says of having to correct folks. 'I'm not going to deny it. I really feel strongly about it.' " (photo, l-r: Johnson with CBS 2 colleagues Kate Sullivan, Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson)
You'll find the complete text at the newspaper's website.
An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Rob Johnson is a 1990 graduate of DePauw, where he majored in communication. Before moving to Chicago in 1998, he worked at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas as an anchor and reporter (1995-98). Previously, Johnson worked as the lead anchor at KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas; anchor and reporter at KLFY in Lafayette, Louisiana (1992-94); and at KALB in Alexandria, Louisiana (1990-92).
Last November, Johnson received the Northern Suburban Special Education District's "Outstanding Advocate Award." Learn more in this story.