United Friends of the Children has hired, Derric J. Johnson, as its newly appointed Chief Programs and Policy Officer, to lead UFC’s policy advocacy and strategic partnerships, as well as provide thought leadership to the sectors impacting current and former foster youth. As UFC enters a new strategic planning period, Derric will be a key strategy partner in identifying opportunities to grow and/or enhance existing programs, as well as launch new initiatives. In addition, Derric will contribute to UFC’s overall organizational management and leadership, provide financial oversight of UFC programs, support oversight of compliance and personnel matters, fundraising and external relations activities. Previously, Derric was the Associate Head of School at Children’s Day, and separately, the Founding
Director of The Equity and Justice Institute (E&JI) at The Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, while also serving as a member of their senior administrative team. Through his leadership he oversaw social justice advocacy, change management strategies, policy reform, anti-racist education administration, and civic/community engagement.
Prior, Derric was a Senior Policy Advisor, Public Safety and Justice for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Second District). During his tenure, Derric led legislative efforts to establish the Civilian
Oversight Commission of the Sheriff’s Department; reformed oversight policies for the largest Probation Department in the United States; advanced initiatives to improve deficiencies in cultural competency and systemic implicit biases; expanded countywide initiative promoting voter education and registration for justice-system involved adults to increase electoral turnout; and instituted the Fair Chance Ordinance for LA County that would eliminate restrictions on employment opportunities based solely on criminal convictions. Derric also attained a $30 million increase in state allocations for court-appointed dependency counsel to improve protections for foster youth in California and procured $5 million from the state’s Juvenile Justice and Crime Prevention funds (JJCPA) to support restorative justice and community-based programs to divert youth from the juvenile justice system. Derric is also a politically appointed Commissioner (representing the Second District) for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, and was recently re-elected as Vice President. The 15-member County commission is engaged in research and education for the purposes of reducing prejudice based on sex, age, race, religion, national origin or personal handicap and fostering civil peace and intergroup understanding among various communities within the jurisdiction.
Additionally, Derric serves as a Board Member for several educational and non-profit organizations: MLK Health and Wellness Community Development Corporation and Pitzer College Alumni Board where he was recently appointed the inaugural Race and Justice Chair to support student engagement by identifying and activating the College’s social justice efforts. This role seeks to embed the study of racial violence and justice throughout the campus/curriculum to advance social justice campaigns that foster greater inclusiveness via the alumni, college, and community engagement initiatives. Derric is also an Executive Council Member of the Children’s Defense Fund-CA, and previously held Board appointments with United Friends of the Children, Peace4Kids, and Brilliant Corners, a nonprofit supportive housing agency providing for individuals with developmental disabilities and other special needs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County, including individuals transitioning from homelessness and institutional settings.
After being awarded a National Urban Fellowship, Derric earned his secondary Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College-City University of New York. He also received a Master’s in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University, and a Bachelor’s from Pitzer.