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Building Fireproof Houses – EP. 01

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Top Takeaways From This Episode:

    • Work on the environment around you. Think locally, act globally.
    • Stay grounded!
    • Try Brian’s systems for a better, more productive week.
    • Make an action plan for the week (think big picture stuff)
    • Shorten meetings to 25 or 50 minutes, then use that extra time for yourself after.
    • Block off time at beginning and end of the week to focus on specific things. Don’t falter!

Show Notes:

Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, joins us this week to talk about his journey through scholastic and social justice. We even discuss Brian's perspective on relationships with people in general. Brian is a great friend of host, Heather Vickery, and we are delighted that he spent some time with us on the show.

Brian shares that there’s always work to get done. It doesn't matter your race, age, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Though our country has shown progress and, in some cases, is better than it ever has been, there is still so much injustice floating around. It can nearly become overwhelming.

Brian tells us the story about how and why he decided to work with Equality Illinois, and his journey into fighting for a better America. He reminds people that we need to learn to not just put out the fires in front of ourselves, but build a fireproof house at the same time.

If we want America to hold up its promise of being a great nation, we need to do more than band-aid the issues, we need to fix the problem and injustices.

Brian and Toby during their wedding ceremony. Everyone in the house was crying!
The happiest couple.


Brian shares his love of learning and his favorite books:  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and The Souls of Black Folk. Check them out!


Brian is the CEO of Equality Illinois, an organization that fights for justice and inclusion in many different fields. Growing up in a military family, Brian got a chance to travel a lot and see how great the country is. After finishing his degree at Princeton, he went on to teach at a 100% African American school in Baton Rouge. This experience was not only great but eye-opening, as it laid the framework for the career he has today. Building deep relationships with people on the opposite spectrum of him, Brian soon realized that the promise these kids (mostly those in lesser-income neighborhoods) were getting was not the same as the one he got when he was young.

Giving is Good:

Equality Illinois isn’t the only organization that has Brian’s full support either! Teach for AmericaCity Year and AmeriCorps are all special groups doing great, inspiring work.

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