40 Under 40 2017: Alencia Johnson

Director, constituency communications, Planned Parenthood, 29

After joining Planned Parenthood in 2013 as a press officer focusing on African-American communications strategies, Alencia Johnson saw the need for a dedicated team that would focus on the impact of limited healthcare access on marginalized communities. She pitched the idea of a constituency communications department that would focus on communities of color, LGBTQ, faith, and young people, and a new venture was born.

As the team expanded, Johnson was named director of the group, making her one of the youngest directors in the organization. At the helm of the department, Johnson fuses her comms experience from corporate and political sectors to create strategies that advance social justice issues. She has helped Planned Parenthood craft and implement messaging that resonates with audiences who too often feel left out of the conversation on reproductive healthcare and rights.

Johnson has also been responsible for urging the organization to speak out on racial injustices, has assisted Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund in developing communications strategies with campaigns for candidates endorsed by the fund, and has tirelessly worked to elevate patient experiences.

She has also worked with grassroots leaders and built partnerships with celebrities and influencers to identify opportunities for them to speak out in support of Planned Parenthood.

Johnson has managed national partnerships with BET, Essence, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and more. She also oversaw Planned Parenthood’s advisory role and participation in the award-winning documentary Trapped.

  • Johnson is an associate member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a member of ColorComm.
  • She was named to Ebony’s Power 100 of the most influential African-Americans for her work at Planned Parenthood in 2016, and she was named to PRWeek’s inaugural Champions in PR list.
  • Johnson served on the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama at its Chicago headquarters in 2012, where she spearheaded the booking strategy around African-American surrogates on television and radio.

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