VANCOUVER, Wash.—Leann Johnson, former manager of cultural services for the city of Vancouver, is the new director for equity and diversity at Clark College.
In her newly created position, Johnson will be responsible for directing and promoting the college's diversity and equity initiatives in areas of recruiting, training, development and reporting. She will also serve as a member of the college's executive cabinet and will report to the president on activities related to harassment and discrimination claims and for the campus multicultural committee.
Prior to her work with the city, Johnson served as director and founder of the Office of Intercultural Affairs and Civil Rights for the YWCA of Clark County, and as founder and chair of the YWCA Diversity Task Force. While with the YWCA, Johnson designed and managed the Diversity Institute,Southwest Washington's first series of courses on equity and diversity.
Her background includes extensive professional training and speaking experience, having developed and delivered customized training on diversity and communications to over 3,000 people in public, corporate, nonprofit and community organizations.
"Leann brings to the college a strong background in the area of equity and diversity and extensive contacts within the community," said Katrina Golder, associate vice president of human resources for the college.
"The commitment to re-establishing a position focusing on equity and diversity is important to fulfilling the college's mission and strategic plan imperatives. We are looking forward to Leann providing a leadership role in this area."
Johnson said she had a desire to seek new challenges and opportunities for growth and she is enthusiastic about representing the college in the community.
"I've always appreciated the fact that our community has had access to Clark College's people and programs, but my appreciation has been heightened over the last few years," Johnson said. "From the outside looking in, I just felt there was something going on here that I wanted to be a part of."
Among Johnson's first tasks will be to reconvene the campus multicultural committee (formerly the cultural pluralism committee). Through her work with this group, she hopes to highlight and advance the college's "Respect for Differences" mission imperative.
"The Clark College Strategic Plan identifies respect for differences and an appreciation of multiple perspectives as a key element of the culture at Clark College," Johnson said. "I hope to develop this mission imperative into a truly college-wide initiative rather than a single office effort."
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in communications management from the University of Portland, and she completed an internship in public relations and organizational communications at Emanuel Hospital in Portland.
Johnson was honored as a "Rising Star" by The VancouverColumbian, received the 1993 Val Joshua Racial Justice Award and was selected as a 1998 Woman of Achievement.