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Dr. Umar Johnson Ordered to Stand Trial, Accuses State of Trying to Strip His ‘Psychology Credentials’

Umar Johnson

Dr. Umar Johnson is accused of falsely presenting himself as a psychologist without the proper credentials.

Author and Pan-Afrikan psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson has reportedly been called to stand trial before the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology amid concerns over his credentials as a psychologist and efforts to fund a new residential academy for Black boys.

In a Twitter post Thursday, Dec. 21, Johnson shared a screenshot of the notice from the Department of State petitioning him to court for a hearing, Jan. 8, 2018, for undisclosed reasons. The famed psychologist, who’s claimed familial ties to freedom fighter Frederick Douglass in the past, hinted that it might have something to do with the legitimacy of his school psychology license.

Johnson went on to blast those who are helping the “white man” plot his demise and potentially end his career.

“I’ve been ordered to stand trial in Harrisburg, Pa. … before the Board of Psychology to be stripped of my school psychology credentials as a result of constant complaints from some members of my race pleading to the white man via phone and mail, to bring an end to my profession,” he wrote.

A notice from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania obtained by Atlanta Black Star accuses Johnson of presenting himself as a psychologist without the proper credentials, indicating that he’s never held an authorization to practice a profession/occupation from the state’s psychology board. Moreover, the notice states that Johnson doesn’t have a proper license to practice as a psychologist in the state.

Johnson must now prove to the board that he is, in fact, a certified psych professional — or risk losing his permit to practice altogether. He also faces civil penalties of about $10,000 for each alleged violation and could even incur the costs of an investigation into the matter, according to the notice warning of possible disciplinary action.

Umar Johnson Osc and Answer by Tanasia Kenney on Scribd

Johnson, who specializes in working with parents of Black children diagnosed with special needs or behavioral issues, has since responded to the complaints and maintained that he is a certified school psychologist, despite the allegations levied against him.

“I am, and have been for the past 16 years, since Spring 2001, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Certified School Psychologist,” he penned in a letter to the state dated Aug. 25, 2017. “I’ve also been a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), a credential I voluntarily chose not to renew, as I didn’t feel the organization did enough to prevent the over-identification and placement of African-American boys into special education programs.”

“Contrary to the allegations made against me, I have never held myself out as anything other than a Certified School Psychologist and Doctor of Clinical Psychology,” he added. ” … It’s my hope that these charges being brought against me are not politically motivated out of racial bias or discrimination due to my political views, school advocacy efforts in support of Black parents, and/or community activist work that I conduct on behalf of the national African-American community.”

Johnson’s notice to appear in court also comes amid recent suspicions over his efforts to transform one of two historically Black institutions into the Frederick Douglass and Marcus Garvey RBG International Leadership Academy for Black Boys, a private K-12 academy for Black males. However, speculative reports about where funds donated for the project are actually going have raised concerns among supporters, leaving many to wonder if the project will ever come to fruition.

So far, a GoFundMe campaign dedicated to the cause has amassed just over $400,000 in donations since its launch in March 2015. A screenshot posted to Johnson’s Twitter page Thursday showed that the crowdfunding company’s had concerns about the campaign as well and threatened to shut down Johnson’s account if he failed to respond to them within 48 hours.

“Sometimes I ask myself why did I start this campaign,” Johnson wrote. “I’m ready to return all the donations and move to Afrika. In an effort to give our boys a school they deserve, I’ve had countless coons consistently harass white people in the power structure.”

News of Johnson’s trouble with the board has garnered mixed reactions, from some in the Black community labeling him a fraud to others rallying those in the diaspora to throw their support behind him. The hashtag #UmarJohnsonDelicensingParty was even trending for a while.

Dr. Johnson did not return requests for comment.

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