Johnson’s research interests include diversity in academic libraries and higher education. Her dissertation, “Minority Librarians in Higher Education: A Critical Race Theory Analysis,” was named one of 10 Notable Dissertations of 2016 by the American Library Association. She received a National Park Service grant and is currently collecting oral histories in the Fairfield neighborhood of Huntington. She was named the 2022-2023 Sarah Denman Faces of Appalachia Fellow and is working with a community group to create a documentary on the Underground Railroad in the Tri-State area.
Johnson co-founded the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Dr. Tim Melvin in 2017. She serves on the board of directors for the Fairfield Development Corporation, the West Virginia Humanities Council, Coalfield Development and the Huntington Human Relations Commission, and is a member of Mayor Steve Williams’ Diversity Advisory Committee and the West Virginia Library Association’s Executive Board.