Janetta Louise Johnson is the Executive Director at TGI Justice Project (Transgender, Gender-Variant, and Intersex Justice Project). She is a formerly incarcerated Black transgender woman and has been an activist and advocate in the transgender communities since 1997, when she moved to San Francisco from her hometown of Tampa, Florida. She survived three and a half years in federal prison, and while inside she fiercely and tirelessly advocated for her rights as an incarcerated transgender person. She became politicized through her kinship with Miss Major, her adopted trans mother, and after her release from prison returned to her work with non-profits and social service agencies with a higher compassion for people on the inside of jails and prisons. In 2006, she put her skills as a community organizer, trainer and activist to work as Interim Director of TGI Justice Project, during which she coordinated vibrant grassroots fundraisers to support the organization. In 2014, she became the permanent Executive Director of TGIJP when Miss Major retired from the position.
She co-founded the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, the first transgender cultural district in the country, here in San Francisco in 2016 and TAJA’s coalition, community accountability for Black trans safety in San Francisco. Janetta is committed to building strategies and interventions to reduce the recidivism rate of the transgender community by providing leadership development and job opportunities to those who are currently being released from custody. She is also a fierce advocate for transgender people who are currently incarcerated, working tirelessly to improve the lives of those currently on the inside through legislative campaigns like the Name and Dignity Act, which enables people in held in California prisons to change their legal name and gender, while also fighting for the abolition of prisons at large. She believes that currently and formerly incarcerated trans people without a voice will be people without hope. She will continue to struggle to instill hope and belief in a better future for every transgender person that she can reach.
Janetta uses she/her pronouns.