Storyboard / Twin Cities PBS Explores the Story of 'Minnesota’s First Lady of Civil Rights' in a new Film 

Back to Storyboard Posts

Twin Cities PBS Explores the Story of 'Minnesota’s First Lady of Civil Rights' in a new Film 

February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024 (St. Paul, MN) — Twin Cities PBS is thrilled to announce its upcoming one-hour documentary, “Hope in the Struggle – The Josie Johnson Story.” This inspiring film provides a unique insight into the remarkable journey of Dr. Josie Johnson, a pioneering Freedom Fighter who participated in the March on Washington in 1963, civic leader, educator and community activist. Johnson’s story is largely told in her own words, through TPT’s archive of interviews that span decades, along with anecdotes provided by her granddaughters on her lasting impact on their paths of service.

With over seven decades of tireless activism, Josie Johnson has earned the moniker of the “First Lady of Minnesota Civil Rights.” In this documentary, TPT explores her relevance in today’s world, where issues such as racial justice, voting rights, gender equity and access to quality education remain focal points of social justice movements. “Hope in the Struggle” raises the essential question: Where does Johnson find hope, and what invaluable guidance does she offer to the next generation of changemakers?

“For our communities of color, women, and those who advocate for education, allyship and jobs, most Minnesotans have been touched by the life, work and legacy of Dr. Josie Johnson,” says Daniel Bergin, Executive Producer of the film and WEM Endowed Director of History at Twin Cities PBS. “My work at TPT has certainly been informed by her. So with our decades of archival coverage – and with ongoing civil rights and civic issues facing Minnesota and the nation – we thought it was time to amplify the wisdom, tenacity, heart and hope found in the life and work of Josie Johnson.”

Johnson’s journey is one of courage, resilience and an unyielding commitment to justice. Her life story reflects the struggles, triumphs and challenges of the Civil Rights Movement that continues to shape the world today. The film, produced by Steve Spencer and Miranda Harincar, delves into the multigenerational impact of Johnson’s work, shedding light on how younger generations of activists will carry the baton forward. It invites viewers to witness the authentic, day-to-day efforts of a movement, as well as the unwavering dedication of individuals who commit their lives to the cause.

Don’t miss the premiere of “Hope in the Struggle – The Josie Johnson Story” on Monday, February 19 at 8 pm on TPT 2 and streaming the PBS App.  Join us in celebrating the incredible life and work of an extraordinary woman who has left an indelible mark on Minnesota history.


About Twin Cities PBS 

Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media. Established 64 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards. Find more information at

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2024. All rights reserved.


Read Next

To Top