Aaron “AJ” Johnson

Food Security | OK, United States

2022 Healthy Communities Fellow


Aaron “AJ” Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Oasis FreshMarkets, the first full-service supermarket in North Tulsa’s historically black-neighborhood — once called ‘Black Wall Street — in 14 years. Growing up inMilwaukee, Johnson saw the tremendous differences between resourced and under-resourced communities. When he moved to Oklahoma, he learned that residents in North Tulsa neighborhoods have a life expectancy 11 years shorter than people in South Tulsa communities. Whether it was the school systems, playgrounds, or even access to grocery stores, many North Tulsa residents had to travel for miles to enjoy the same resources that non-distressed communities have readily available. Johnson also launched the nonprofit Oasis Project to provide wrap-around services including rental and utility assistance, support for single parents, banking, workforce training, and health-related classes.Johnson believes the Oasis model provides a blueprint for under-served communities by equipping people for every aspect of a healthy life.