Karli Johnson M.S.Ed is a nationwide speaker, educator, ambassador and probably the world’s best party starter.
As a trained professional on power-based violence prevention, mental health advocate, and youth empowerment mentor, Karli Johnson not only "knows her stuff," she’s lived it. As a survivor of trauma and violence, Karli has lived experiences resonate with children, teens and adults throughout the country.
While these topics are hard to discuss, Karli uses her upbeat personality to offer a unique and approachable method to these taboo issues.
With a focus on children and young adults, Karli uses humor and storytelling, as seen in her TEDx TALK, “I Pooped My Pants,” along with audience participation to engage crowds with these challenging topics. Based out of the Chicagoland area, through her business, Stories Speak Education, Karli highlights the topics parents, teachers and bosses don't like to talk about.
Her mission is simple: educate for social change while having fun along the way.
PREVENTION EDUCATOR & Speaker
Karli has been a successful leader in violence prevention and promotion for over six years. Today she travels the country educating children, teens and adults on the importance of violence awareness and prevention. With a focus on adolescents, Karli's unique approach emphasizes personal connection with her listeners through stories, humor, discussions, audience participation and action plans.
Karli shares her personal tragedies and triumphs, as well as violence prevention education methods. Based out of the Chicagoland region, Karli has presented to military groups, businesses, worldwide corporations, local organizations and thousands of students, from elementary school to colleges across the country.
Diagnosed with ADHD, Depression and PTSD after her traumas, Karli advocates for mental health care access as a trained youth health health first aid provider. She believes openly talking about mental health illness, just like a broken foot or cold, can help break down stigmas.
As a youth speaker and female empowerment mentor, Karli works with youth groups such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girls on the Run, sport teams, church groups, school groups, non-profit organizations.
As a survivor of Power-Based Violence, including bullying & sexual harassment, dating violence and sexual violence, unfortunately, Karli’s education experience was similar to that of other students in the United States. These alarming statistics illustrate the dangers for all ages of students. Her mission is to change that.
“Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school”
- National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics
“1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.”
- The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus
“1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted on a college campus.”
- Justice Department’s Nation Institute of Justice
“81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.”
- National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault
Farm Worker. Florist. Tailor. Event Coordinator. Nanny. Telemarketer. Movie Extra. Mascot. Account Executive. ambassador.
Karli’s career as a successful speaker didn't happen over night. Karli has worked a variety of jobs, starting at the age of thirteen. From her first job on an asparagus farm to working with million dollar marketing clients. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University, Karli worked as an Account Executive for an advertising and marketing firm near Chicago. After working on a project that required hundreds of dollars to Photoshop models, Karli knew the advertising field wasn't for her. After years of involvement in the Women's Rights Alliance club in college, Karli looked for a career and position where she could empower women, instead of Photoshop them.
For two and a half years Karli worked at Illinois's largest rape crisis center as a Prevention Educator and Victim Advocate. She presented bullying, stranger danger, dating violence and sexual violence prevention programs to thousands of students, simultaneously working with sexual assault victims in hospitals and hotlines.
Presentation after presentation, Karli started to realize that students wanted to hear from real life victims and survivors. Karli decided in order to make the biggest impact, students needed to hear these facts from someone who experienced it. In March of 2015, Karli left her full-time roll as a rape-crisis educator and advocate to start her own business.