William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center
Jim examines the growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues.
He is also the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center, an institute-affiliated center.
Jim received a doctorate degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University.
Urban Investment Strategies CenterAssessing demographic and economic trends in order to prescribe policy that leads to prosperity for the urban disadvantaged.
Proceed with Caution in Reopening Public SchoolsDespite advocacy from governmental officials and parents alike, we urge caution in the reopening of public schools before the coronavirus pandemic is fully under control. We are especially concerned about the premature re-opening of schools in impoverished and flood-prone urban and rural environments. More
Prioritize High-Risk Demographics in Vaccine RolloutPeople of color are overrepresented relative to their shares of the total population in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The same is true for people living in over-crowded multigenerational households. Because people of color are more likely to live in multigenerational households than are Whites, the pandemic is having a double whammy effect in communities of color throughout the U.S. More
Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution: A Race Blind Approach to a Racially Disparate ProblemConsiderable scholarly analysis and media attention has documented the racially disparate impact of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Constituting 13 percent of the general population, Blacks reportedly account for 25 percent of those that have tested positive and 39 percent of the COVID-related deaths in the United States. More
Does Your Firm Have Reputational Equity?
Public opinion polls reveal Americans are turning to companies with purpose and ethics to lead us through the profound anxiety and crises we are currently experiencing as a nation. We developed a corporate reputational equity checklist that will enable firms to brand or rebrand themselves as inclusive and equitable places to work, as well as position their companies as a collective of civically engaged corporate citizens poised and willing to address society’s most pressing ills, including systemic racism.More
Does Your City Have Reputational Equity?
Cities increasingly will have to demonstrate a strong commitment to reputational equity to remain attractive places to live, work, play, and do business given the racially and ethnically disparate impacts of Covid-19 pandemic and recent senseless killings of unarmed African Americans that spawned a nationwide protest movement. We leverage evidence-based best practices of inclusive and equitable development from the research literature to devise a reputational equity checklist—a portfolio of strategies, policies, tactics, procedures and practices cities will need to embrace to dismantle all forms of “Isms” and “Phobias” that are principally responsible for the major divisions that exist in American society today.More
Establishing Reputational Equity for the Nursing ProfessionThe nursing profession in the United States was experiencing a labor shortage and facing diversity and inclusion challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnifying these problems was a shift in the nation’s population, both geographically and demographically. The result was changes in both where nurses are needed in the healthcare system and the nursing skill set required to address healthcare needs of a far more diverse clientele of patients—in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, living arrangements, socioeconomic status and primary language.
Where Are We Going? Lasting Changes to Working, Living and Traveling in a Post-COVID WorldThe COVID-19 pandemic has generated a significant shift in how and where we work, play and live. In this Kenan Insight, we explore which changes will be temporary and which are here to stay.
The Upending of Education and ChildcareIn our previous Kenan Insight, we outlined the major findings in our recent report, Seven Forces Reshaping the Economy. This week, we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has upended education and childcare, ushering in changes to both that will last far beyond the current crisis.
Seven Forces Reshaping the Economy Amid and Beyond COVID-19As the historic 2020 U.S. presidential election draws nearer, voters are taking stock of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their lives and livelihoods, and demanding that policymakers present their plans for economic recovery. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the major forces reshaping the U.S. economy and offer suggestions for forging an intentional and equitable path forward.
Anti-immigrant Policies Will Hurt America’s COVID-19 RecoveryU.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has recently ramped up efforts to keep immigrants from entering the country and force out some who are already here – arguing these to be necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect American jobs. However, in this Kenan Insight, we summarize why these policies risk having exactly the opposite effect, harming the future health, social well-being and economic viability of our nation.
Jim Johnson and Jeanne Milliken Bonds Offer Insights on Reputational Equity in Triangle Business Journal ArticleIn a recent Triangle Business Journal article, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Jeanne Milliken Bonds discuss why Americans are increasingly turning to companies with purpose and ethics, and provide a corporate reputational equity checklist to help organizations move toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices.
Jim Johnson Quoted in CNN Business ArticleUrban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson weighed in on the initial surge and subsequent decline in Black bookstore sales during the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent article by CNN Business.
The Seven “What Matters” In a System Not Designed for UsFor African Americans and individuals from other historically underrepresented groups, work cultures can be difficult to navigate. In a new white paper, The Seven "What Matters" In a System Not Designed for Us, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson draws upon his 40 years of experience in academia to offer strategies for individuals in these groups to thrive within work cultures that do not fully embrace and may even be antagonistic to diversity and inclusion.
North Carolina Governor Names Jim Johnson to New Equity Task ForceNorth Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has named Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated Urban Investment Strategies Center, to the newly created Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force.
Business and Economic Impact of COVID-19To help separate fact from fiction and legitimate concern from panic, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School convened six top faculty researchers to discuss the likely effects of the pandemic on business and the economy.