Dr. Josie Johnson

Recent Articles

Mayors pledge racial equity

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Twin Cities could be the nation’s best example for racial equity — so pledge the mayors of the state’s two largest municipalities. In welcoming the estimated 500-plus attendees at the August 5-6 “Convening on Racial Equity” at the University of Minnesota, both St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges told the audience that they are committed to addressing racial equity in all aspects of government and society. The two-day conference was co-sponsored by 10 governmental jurisdictions and over 40 local and national community-based organizations. “It is critically important that we leaders come together and work through every aspect of what we do in our cities and in our states to make sure that we are truly an equitable society,” stated Coleman. Continue Reading →

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Clinton decries growing U.S. political polarization

Ex-president, in Humphrey school speech, sounded alarm that we are ‘drifting apart’
 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

Barack Obama, or for that matter Jimmy Carter, or even former president Bill Clinton himself would not have been elected U.S. president if it wasn’t for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, said Clinton during a June 9 speech last week at the University of Minnesota Northrop Auditorium. The school’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, named after the late senator and vice president Hubert H. Humphrey, has co-sponsored a yearlong series of events to reflect on the 50th anniversary year of the law’s passage that’s largely believed to have ended de jure segregation in this country, primarily in the South. University of Minnesota Trustee Emeritus Dr. Josie Johnson, who introduced Clinton, told the audience that everyone should “challenge misinformation and seek truth.” She reiterated afterwards to the MSR that “the focus on justice, equity, civil rights, etcetera” must continue. “I wish we could create an environment where we could talk together,” she said. “Until we can pass legislation that opens opportunities for all of our children, and when our children understand their place in history and in society, until we do that I don’t think the future of our civil rights resonates with our children. Continue Reading →

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St. Paul Foundation honors race ambassadors

Josie Johnson took on Voter ID  

Ellen O’Neill helped spark Duluth racial dialogue

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

University of Minnesota Regent Emeriti Dr. Josie Johnson and YWCA of Duluth Executive Director Ellen O’Neill are among the five Facing Race Ambassadors who will be honored April 29 by

the Saint Paul Foundation at the Prom Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota. O’Neill was nominated for her leadership in working with people and organizations in Duluth in anti-racism efforts. She has helped “spark thousands of conversations around racial equity in families, workplaces, community gatherings and in the

media.”

Dr. Johnson, who has been “an ambassador for racial justice and racial equity” in Minnesota for over 50 years, was nominated for inspiring and mentoring new leaders, along with her advocating against the ramifications if the 2012 Voter ID

 

constitutional amendment had passed last year. In separate interviews, both women recently talked to the MSR.

O’Neill admitted that upon first learning of the award, “I actually had a mixed reaction. The work that the Duluth community have been doing for the last year and a half very much has been a collaboration — the YWCA has been involved in starting it but there are 17 partners in our community in this specific campaign. Continue Reading →

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Some Black women crack media’s glass ceiling

 

 
Josie Thomas optimistic based on her CBS experience
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The number of women in leadership positions virtually has not changed since 2009, says a Women’s Media Center study on females in the media (see “Black women hammering at media’s glass ceiling: Mainstream offers them ‘dismal’ opportunities,” April 4, MSR). However, a top CBS female executive says the numbers are improving. CBS Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Josie Thomas was the featured speaker April 2 at University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications Spring Forum. She has held several management-level positions at CBS since 1995, and since being named to her present position last year, Thomas directly reports to network President and CEO Leslie Moonves. “I think there have been some notable strides” in media diversity, especially Black women as leaders, said Thomas in an interview with the MSR. “You have an Oprah Winfrey… You have a media mogul at that level and the people she probably mentored in her career. Continue Reading →

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Voter ID march

 

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, an estimated 400 concerned citizens/protesters converged at the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. The group marched from Sabathani Community Center to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for a rally and protest against the Voter ID amendment placed on this year’s ballot. The Sabathanites Drum Corps were the flagship group for the march. The purpose of the rally was to educate, motivate and inspire people to vote no on photo ID and encourage others to do the same. The rally was organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Council. Continue Reading →

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Cecil E. Newman documentary honors MSR founder’s birthday

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Beginning Wednesday, July 25, A Black History Chronicle Exclusive — Cecil E. Newman: The Friendship, the Life and the Legacy, a documentary produced by ShenaBarber.com Productions, will air on a number of websites and local cable channels. This documentary is a tribute to and celebration of the birthday of Cecil E. Newman (July 25, 1903), businessman and publisher of the Minneapolis Spokesman and the St. Paul Recorder (now the MSR). With only $20, Newman founded the newspapers in 1934. Newman had significant local and national influence, with his relationships with U.S. 38th Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Walter Mondale, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Josie Johnson, and Curtis Chivers (who once worked for the Spokesman and Recorder). Continue Reading →

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