Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founding minister of Inner Light Ministries, an interfaith spiritual community of approximately 3,000 in Santa Cruz, CA. She is also the president of The Motivational Institute, an organizational development consulting firm specializing in cultural diversity. A dynamic trainer, facilitator, and public speaker, she is known for her ability to bring clarity to complex and emotionally charged issues. A staunch civil rights activist, Rev Deborah Johnson is the successful co-plaintiff in a landmark case setting precedence for the inclusion of sexual orientation in California's Civil Rights Bill. She has been a voice for compassion, justice, and reconciliation and has worked extensively in the women's movement, civil rights movement, and gay and lesbian rights movement.
Wherever she goes, her message is always one of possibility, inclusion, empowerment and transformation. In 2009, Rev Deborah received the National Black Justice Coalition’s first Pioneer of Faith Award. Much of her work centers around the intersection of race, religion, sexuality, and public policy. She was inducted into the Board of Preachers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College, which honors clergy for their lifetime work in social justice. Rev. Deborah is an instructor at Agape University, the Holmes Institute, Pacific School of Religion, and UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business Executive Leadership Diversity Training Institute. She holds a BA from USC, an MBA from UCLA, and a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute. Author of The Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent, she was recently featured in NPR’s Tell Me More/Faith Matters, Showtime’s Jumpin’ the Broom, and the film God and Gays: Bridging the Gap.