Sharnita C. Johnson, program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was recently announced as one of the winners of the 2012 Leadership Detroit Emerging Leader Award from the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Johnson, along with eight others, was recognized at a ceremony on Oct. 11. The award recognizes individuals who are creating positive change in the region. This year’s winners are members of the Leadership Detroit Class XXXII Race and Reconciliation Committee.
According to the Detroit Regional Chamber, each of the awardees was recognized for their “commitment to work together after graduation to develop a framework to continue a dialogue on race relations.”
With nearly 20 years’ experience, in the nonprofit sector, Johnson has held positions at many area organizations, including the Skillman Foundation, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Detroit Public Television, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Music Hall and the Museum of African American History.
In addition to being an accomplished funder and fundraiser, Johnson is committed to a life of service. She says, “I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to be of service; especially in your own community. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said ‘Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.’ I want to be remembered as a person who was of service to her family and her community.”
Other recipients of the award include Alicia Alvarez, University of Michigan; Leslie Andrews, Rock Ventures, LLC; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy; Gerald Chiddick, Amerisure Insurance Company; Scott Alan Davis, Vanguard Community Development Corporation; Al-Azhar Pacha, ALPAC, Inc.; Gina Polley, Legal Aid & Defender Association; and Mary Jo Larson, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.
Also honored at the event were Elizabeth Barton of The Waverly Group-Midwest, LLC with the Inspirational Leader Award and Faye Nelson of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. with the Lifelong Leadership Award.