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Victoria Foundation Announces Sharnita C. Johnson as Organization’s First-Ever Vice President of Strategy, Impact, and Communications.

Sharnita-headshot Sharnita C. Johnson

New position and Johnson's leadership exemplify foundation's shift into community-focused strategies for equity and justice.

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Victoria Foundation is pleased to announce Sharnita C. Johnson will serve as the Foundation's first-ever Vice President of Strategy, Impact and Communications in its nearly 100-year history. In this role, Johnson will be responsible for providing oversight and management of all programmatic activities and ensuring alignment with the Foundation goals and values. This expansion of the leadership team comes as the Victoria Foundation last month announced its new framework to support power-building and self-determination of Black, Brown and other communities pushed to the margins in Newark.

The foundation's focus on strengthening community power, fostering economic justice, and promoting youth self-determination will be well-served by Johnson's extensive background in both philanthropy and community engagement.

"We are thrilled to welcome Sharnita to Victoria Foundation," said Craig Drinkard, Co-Executive Officer of Victoria Foundation. "Her experience and approach to community partnership will set us up to fully leverage all our resources to support powerful, community-driven work that has the potential to change conditions for Newark children and families and build power in communities for generations to come."

In addition to playing a lead role in standing up the Foundation's new framework, Johnson will lead the development and implementation of Victoria's grantmaking, success measures, communications, and other leadership activities as the Foundation transforms program priorities to be community-centered and focused on equity and justice.

"I am honored to join the Victoria Foundation at a time when the Foundation is centering the experiences of Newark residents and stakeholders to support a community vision for change, specifically those closest to systems that perpetuate inequity," shared Johnson. "This is work I am deeply committed to, and it is a special honor to deepen relationships in Newark, a city where I've built many connections since coming to New Jersey."

Sharnita comes to this role with a wealth of lived and professional experiences. Most recently, she served as the Arts Program Director at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she led a statewide grantmaking portfolio focused on arts, equity, and creative placemaking. Sharnita played an integral role in the Foundation's transformation of its mission to address the root causes and repair of structural racism and inequity. Amongst many of her distinguished accomplishments, Sharnita co-chairs the New Jersey Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund, a first of its kind $5 million fund to support artists and arts organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also co-chair of ABFE's $25 million fundraising campaign to strengthen and rebuild Black-led infrastructure for social change. ABFE is a national philanthropic serving organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities.

Prior to joining the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in 2015, Sharnita led grantmaking portfolios as a senior program officer and program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Skillman Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about Sharnita's experience and the Foundation's new framework

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A Shift from Program to Partnership
Victoria Foundation is growing its staff!
 

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Friday, 12 August 2022

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Victoria Foundation
31 Mulberry Street, 5th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

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Fax 973-792-1300
e-mail info@victoriafoundation.org

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