From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Johnson, Mark Anthony "Tony"

Mark A. Johnson, was born in Dayton, OH and grew up in Owingsville, KY. He is the son of Lola L. Johnson, and the husband of John Moses. Mark is a graduate of Bath County High School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Morehead State University and a Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Louisville.

For more than 30 years, Mark A. Johnson has been a leading activist promoting HIV/AIDS education, and he has been a champion of cultural sensitivity and health equity. He has used his positions at both the local and state public health departments and at community-based organizations to create change, promote cultural competency, and influence policy to ensure that all people have the opportunity to reach their full health potential.

LaToya BaCall is Mark's alter ego. LaToya has been performing for about 25 years. LaToya was born in 1978 at Morehead State University and over the years has won a number of local, state, regional, and national titles. Below is a listing of both Mark and LaToya's many accomplishments.

Mark A. Johnson is the oldest of his mother's four children. The family lived in a predominately Black neighborhood in Owingsville. Water was gotten from a neighbor's outdoor faucet and they used a neighbor's outhouse. A coal burning stove was used for heating. His mother worked at a factory in Mt. Sterling, KY. The family moved to the housing projects when Mark was in the 8th grade. The family attended a Baptist church every Sunday.

"There was lots of laughter, playing outside, family gatherings, and working little odd jobs. Throughout the years, we did not think about what we didn't have. We were loved."

For more information see photo and article "Mark Johnson named 2019 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero" at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department webpage; see "Lexington group hosts event to educate public, celebrate people living with HIV/AIDS" A WKYT webpage, 12/01/2019; see Mark Johnson at the Aetna: 2007 African American History Calendar webpage.

The following information comes from Mark A. Johnson's vita and has been added with his permission.

Class President
Vice President
Voted Most Popular (senior class)
Marching Band Field Commander (2 years)
Boys Basketball Statistician (4 years)
Awards: Attendance, Beta Club, Drama Club
Won trip to California

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Cheerleader (3 years - 2 years co-captain)
President of Social Work Club (2 years)
  After Graduation:
Taught at national cheerleading camp in Lansing, MI 
Member of Cheerleading Training Team (locations in western U.S.)

Master of Science in Social Work
Advance Standing Program
With three classmates, started a campus gay support group

Aerobics Instructor for about 30 years in various gyms in Lexington, KY
Assistant Wellness Director at William Wells Brown Community Center
Community Health Outreach Worker with Volunteers of America
HIV/AIDS Educator at AIDS Volunteers of Lexington
HIV/AIDS Educator at Robert H. Williams Cultural Center
Social Worker at Cabinet for Health and Family Services
   Lexington-Fayette County Health Department
     Project Coordinator of African American Health Network
     Disease Intervention Specialist
     HIV/AIDS Educator
     Team Leader for Health Equity
     Team Leader for Health Equity and Community Education
   Kentucky Department for Public Health
     Health Educator in the Office of Health Equity
     Program Coordinator of HIV/AIDS Prevention
     HIV/AIDS Prevention Supervisor           
Social Worker at The Nest
Social Worker with the Lexington Housing Authority Senior Apartments
Training Branch Liaison and Adjunct Social Work Professor at Kentucky State University

AVOL [AIDS Volunteers of Lexington]
Black Church Coalition
Bluegrass Black Pride, Inc.
Green Acres Neighborhood Association
Ebony Male
Imperial Court of Kentucky
Kentucky HIV/AIDS Planning and Advisory Council
Lexington Fairness
Moveable Feast
PCSO [Pride Community Services Organization'
SAGE of the Bluegrass
2007 Aetna African American History Calendar, June Profile - recognized for African American Health Network projects - traveled to Los Angeles, CA for ceremony
AIDS Volunteers, Inc. Legacy Award
Bluegrass Black Pride, Inc. Leigh Angelique Trailblazer Award
Bluegrass Black Pride, Inc. Mark Johnson Award
Ebony Male Volunteer of the Year Award, 1996
Frankfort/Lexington LINKS, Recognition for Community Advocacy
Imperial Court of Kentucky, The Henry Faulkner Community Service Award, 2019
Kentucky Colonel - 2001
Kentucky House of Representatives, Recognized for HIV/AIDS work
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner, Meritorious Achievement Award for Outstanding Efforts in Health Equity and Community Leadership
Lexington Fairness, Hall of Fame
Lexington Fairness, Inaugural Out for Diversity Award
Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health 2019 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award
Lexington-Fayette County Mayor Proclaimed April 11, 2019
Mark Johnson Day for Public Health Advocacy
Lexington-Fayette County Mayor's Commission for Racial Justice & Equity
Lexington-Herald Leader, 2-page spread for Community Work in Lifestyle section
Lexington Urban League, Inaugural Individual Champion of Diversity Award
National Institute of Health for African American Health Network, Recognition & Served on a panel in Bethesda, MD
University of Kentucky Department of Social Work, Inaugural Unsung Hero: Champion for Social Change Award
Numerous other awards for exercise and community efforts

Local, State, and Regional Titles
    Imperial Court of Kentucky, Lifetime Achievement Award
    Imperial Court of Kentucky/Reign 38, Honorary Empress, 2019
    Miss Bar Complex (Lexington, KY)
    Miss Bluegrass Black Pride Emeritus
    Miss Black Louisville
    Miss Club 141 (Lexington, KY)
    Miss Gay Lexington
    Miss Georgia Classic (Atlanta, GA)
    Miss Kentucky Big and Beautiful
    Miss Kentucky National
    Miss Lexington Supreme
    Miss Mary Christmas
    Miss Northern Kentucky (Cincinnati, OH)
    Miss Ohio National
    Miss Old Street Saloon (Monroe, OH)
    Miss Queen City (Cincinnati, OH)
    Miss Tynker's (Louisville, KY)
    Miss West Virginia All Star (Parkersburg, WV)
    Miss Wisconsin Classic (Green Bay, WI) 
    Prom Queen
National Titles
    Miss National at Large, 2001
    Miss US of A Classic, 2005
    All American Goddess Emeritus, 2008

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bath County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Rowan County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Owingsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Morehead, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Johnson, Mark Anthony "Tony",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 29, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-12-18 16:12:22