Ben Johnson, Jr. is the Assistant Director of Recreation for Louisville Parks and Recreation. He oversees thirteen different recreation facilities offering diverse programming for participants of all ages and abilities. This is Ben’s second stint with Louisville Metro having previously served as the Assistant Director of Youth Development. Continuing his commitment to bettering the lives of young people and Black Males in particular, Ben created several unique programs in Louisville; Youth Chats with LMPD where local police officers come to community centers to dialogue with young people and an agreement with Youth Detention where his staff provides recreational programming to their youth. He also convinced the school system to open a satellite office in one of his community centers giving families easier access to educational resources. Ben has served as a mentor to numerous young Black Males in group and individual settings. He participates regularly in different activities, reading programs, workshops, panel discussions, tie tying events, etc. Any opportunity to be around and work with / for young Black Males, Ben tries to be there. Recently named a BMe Genius Fellow, Ben is also an American Express Leadership Fellow at The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. He just joined the board of the L.E.E. Initiative, which has a multi-faceted approach to addressing food insecurity and similar challenges. Originally from Philadelphia, married, a father and graduate of Florida A&M, Ben spends a lot of time traveling with his family, supporting his alma mater and promoting other HBCUs.