Reverend Alfreddie Johnson, Jr., World Literacy Crusade Founder
Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, Jr. is a much sought-after national speaker and community activist, responsible for founding World Literacy Crusade and co-founding the American Health and Education Clinics. In November 2005, he was elected to join the Lynwood City Council and subsequently the Mayor Pro Tem.
Johnson is the pastor of True Faith Christian Church, a Baptist congregation in Compton, California. When community unrest erupted in greater Los Angeles in 1992, Johnson intensified his search for solutions to the underlying problems. He teamed up with Fred Shaw, Jr., veteran deputy sheriff, who introduced him to Applied Scholastics and the study technology of L. Ron Hubbard. Through the workable study method, Johnson recognized that the primary and most overlooked barrier to learning anything was the misunderstood word.
Johnson saw clearly that social ills such as poverty, drug abuse, crime and gang violence were not the real cause of his Compton’s hopelessness and anger. Illiteracy was! And so the World Literacy Crusade was born.
Johnson was soon joined by national spokesperson Isaac Hayes, and the two expanded this fight against illiteracy by expanding the World Literacy Crusade.
The reverend continues to address the broader needs of his community. In 2003, Johnson founded Men Who Care, a campaign to highlight positive role models in the community. The following year Johnson helped open American Health and Education Clinics, a facility that boasts a 76% success rate in treating youth and adults with substance abuse issues.
Johnson’s speaking engagements have included the State of the African-American Male Initiative Conference in Los Angeles, the Dr. Lonnie E. Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference and a Hip-Hop Summit Action Network conference. He is a frequent guest on national radio on topics ranging from the African-American condition and Hip-Hop to illiteracy and drug prevention.
A Message from Our Founder:
At the end of 1993, when we were founded, the Educational Testing Service published results from a four-year survey showing that 23% of adults in the United States — over 44 million people — were illiterate. Another 50 million, 26.2% of the adult population, were at the second-lowest level of literacy. More recent studies show no improvement, and these alarming statistics are paralleled around the world. This global dilemma goes far beyond why Johnny can’t read, to how to deal with a world gone mad: increasing violence, drug abuse, despair and the inability to confront and solve the problems one faces in daily life because one is uneducated. Ignorance permeates our world and we have embraced it, yet it is more dangerous and deadly than atomic weapons and plagues. For every one African-American male graduating from college there are one hundred in jails and prisons across the country. Although this problem is not specific to race, there are a disproportionate number of our citizens who are illiterate in the inner cities of this country and worldwide.
The goal of the World Literacy Crusade is the elimination of poverty, disease, crime and hopelessness. We do not see man as an animal who must adapt to his environment, but as a spiritual being who has been granted potential power over the things and circumstances in the physical universe. Just as man must feed his body with water, oxygen and food for his physical survival, he must also be able to fuel his spiritual survival with ideas, concepts and information to help him master the universe and attain optimum eternal life. This information comes in the form of words.
While our movement has participants from all faiths, I am a Christian minister and take the liberty of using a reference from the Bible, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” This statement tells us that the spirit of God is bound up in words. In order to embrace God’s spirit, one must get the full conceptual understanding of each and every word he or she encounters.
In 1992, at the home of community leaders Fred and Marcine Shaw, I was introduced to a breakthrough Study Technology developed by American author and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard had isolated the exact reasons that block a person from learning, and he developed precise steps to allow anyone to overcome these barriers.
Using Study Technology, the World Literacy Crusade is providing the missing ingredient in today’s educational institutions; we are teaching people how to learn. Once one understands the barriers to study and how to overcome them, he or she is empowered in ways one has never known before. The person can now learn any subject, has the tools to improve any area of life and can realize his or her own dreams.
After years of sitting across the table from young people teaching them to learn, we found that drugs and alcohol were permeating the community at younger and younger ages and decided to address the drug issue directly. It is impossible to teach anyone anything if they have mind-altering drugs, whether street or pharmaceutical in nature, in their system. The detoxification of, education about and treatment for the abuse of these drugs, as well as drug-free mental health services, were added to our curriculum in May 2004 when we opened the American Health and Education Clinics.
Currently there are World Literacy Crusade programs across the United States and in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Britain, Ghana, India and Canada. These programs are helping young people and adults to become literate and lead productive lives.
We ask for your financial support, your time to tutor, your help in opening a literacy center in your area and your help in spreading the word. With your assistance, more and more people will have personal hope for the future.
Will you help?
Dr. Hanan, World Literacy Crusade Executive Director
A dynamic leader noted for her passion in addressing issues of concern to the community, Dr. Hanan has devoted her life to bringing real solutions to the lives of LA-area residents in health and education.
She oversees many of the branches here at the World Literacy Crusade, including our international literacy program, our drug rehabilitation and mental health clinic, and she even recently founded a new organization dedicated to increasing the funding of deserving non-profits and churches nationwide.
As executive director of the Compton-based World Literacy Crusade, Dr. Hanan oversees a network of 27 World Literacy Crusade affiliates in five countries. Under her stewardship, World Literacy Crusade has increased its annual income by 300%, received contracts with state and county agencies for delivery of services and opened a new site in India.
Dr. Hanan is also co-founder of the American Health and Education Clinics, a certified drug and alcohol treatment and alternative mental health facility.
She is the founder of Community Empowerment Foundation, a national organization that teaches individuals, non-profits, churches and families in low-income communities how to create intergenerational wealth. The organization educates people on how to set up family trusts and endowment funds to ensure that accumulated wealth is passed on to their heirs and members of their agencies.
She serves as board chair for the Nina M. Kraft Youth Empowerment Program and as secretary for the NAACP Compton Branch. She is an executive council member of Men Who Care, a group promoting positive role models to inner city youth. Islam is an advisory board member of the Compton-Watts Interfaith Council and a board member of the African American Mental Health Coalition. Islam also mentors high-risk girls in her area. She was the founder of the Avalon/El Segundo Primary Care Physicians Medical Group.
Dr. Hanan is a naturopathic doctor, having received doctorates in naturopathic medicine from the Eden Institute and Rochville University. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Rochville University. In 2004, she became a registered addiction specialist through Breining Institute.
In her spare time, she managed to act as campaign manager and strategist for Rev. Alfreddie Johnson’s successful bid for city council in the City of Lynwood in November 2005.
Isaac Hayes, World Literacy Crusade International Spokesperson Emeritus
August 20, 1942–August 10, 2008
You may know Isaac Hayes as an Oscar and Grammy Award winning musician-composer, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former radio host and actor, but World Literacy Crusade knew him as a friend, humanitarian — and international spokesperson. Throughout the years, Isaac Hayes used his inimitable voice to champion literacy efforts and other social betterment causes around the globe.
When he was with us, Hayes devoted much of his time to charitable causes through the Isaac Hayes Foundation (IHF), founded in May 1999, to support global causes that serve community needs in health care, economic, community, environmental and human development. The group has participated in celebrity benefit concerts, like Jam For Literacy at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles, Literacy Links 2000, a middle school program in Memphis, and the Crusaders, a volunteer team of exhibition basketball players from around the country who put on benefit shows for a variety of causes.
He and Lisa Marie Presley, a lifelong friend and fellow celebrity, established a mission for the organization in their hometown of Memphis. There they started a Learning Education Ability Program (LEAP) Center, an after school program that teaches Memphis youth how to read, write and study.
In 1992, Hayes was appointed Honorary King for Development of the Ada Tradition area in Ghana in Western Africa. There, his official name is Nene (King) Katey Ocansey I, and he was charged with improving literacy as well as spurring industrial and economic growth. In the summer of 2000, Hayes opened a school in Ghana designed to link children in Africa with those in American inner cities via the internet. The 8,000-square-foot facility, called NekoTech, not only delivers general and health education and computer technology, it also houses an affiliate of the World Literacy Crusade.
Through these contributions and more, Hayes’s presence can still be felt throughout World Literacy Crusade as we continue the fight against world illiteracy.
Questions? Call World Literacy Crusade today!