North Park's Marathon Man: Boaz Johnson

Professor Boaz Johnson

He may not be the purveyor of little rubber bracelets urging others to Live Strong. He may not have written books about his experiences as an athlete. And he may not receive world-wide recognition for his achievements. Nonetheless, Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park, deserves great acclaim.

In the next five weeks Johnson will run two marathons. On September 14, he will run the Reach the Beach Relay, a 24-hour, 200-mile relay in New Hampshire. Less than one month later, on October 7, he will run the Chicago Marathon, a 26.2-mile run throughout the Windy City. As if running two marathons in one month weren't impressive enough, this is the fifth year in a row that Johnson has run the Chicago Marathon. Even more inspiring is the fact that, for the past three years, he has run to raise money for cancer research. This year, his fundraising and running efforts are going to fight global slavery.

What a way to celebrate turning 50. Johnson, who was raised in the slums of New Delhi, experienced many hardships that left indelible imprints on his mind. As a teacher of the North Park Dialogue, he uses these memories to educate his students, stating, "I am hopeful that our students will be mindful of these issues, no matter what field of work they go into."

To that end, Johnson has enlisted the company of nearly 25 students to join him in running the Chicago Marathon. It is his hope that, throughout this academic year, 50 North Park athletes would participate in various athletic events in the Chicago area — 10Ks, half-marathons, etc. — and work toward the common goal of raising $50,000 for World Vision. In addition, he plans to work with World Vision and North Park's University Ministries department to take students on summer mission trips to areas in great need of assistance; places like Thailand, India, and Sudan.

To learn more about how you can support the fight against global slavery, please contact Professor Johnson at rjohnson7@northpark.edu or (773) 244-5202. If you are ready to contribute to the abolition of global slavery, you can go to FirstGiving.com.