On June 1, 2018, We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) welcomed Nicole A. Johnson to serve as its first Executive Director.
Nicole has over twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, program development, and resource development. Prior to joining WNDB, she launched Extraordinary Changes, an organizational development consulting firm, and she also served as Senior Director for Elev8 Baltimore, a full-service community schools initiative. In that role, she successfully planned a strategy to integrate learning, health, and family support services into the operations of four schools in East Baltimore. Over a seven-year period, she transitioned the initiative from start-up to sustainability, drawing upon her skills as a facilitator, strategic planner, grant writer, and youth worker.
Nicole has also worked as a director of after-school and summer programs across the country, including the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. These programs became a platform for her to promote diverse books and literacy to children of color in cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and Baltimore. She is also the founder of Baltimore Read Aloud, a local campaign to introduce diverse books to Baltimore City children and youth.
“Nicole brings a wealth of experience to WNDB as we continually strive to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book,” said Ellen Oh, co-founder of WNDB. “Her hiring marks a new age of growth for our organization, and we believe Nicole can help take WNDB to the next level in raising long-term sustainable funding and expanding our programs to reach even more communities nationwide.”
Due to the steady expansion of WNDB over the last four years, its Executive Committee sought to hire an Executive Director to ensure that the organization continues to thrive, flourish, and succeed. In this new role, Nicole will supervise WNDB’s initiatives and streamline its processes, as well as seek out new funding opportunities.
“I’m excited about joining the WNDB team,” said Nicole. “I especially look forward to diversifying our revenue stream, seeking out new partners, and growing our existing programming to put even more diverse books into the hands of children across the country.”
WNDB warmly acknowledges The Mai Family Foundation for providing the grant that funds this position.
About We Need Diverse Books (WNDB)
We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2014 to address the lack of diverse representation in the children’s publishing industry. More about the organization is available here.
Contact: Please email Caroline Tung Richmond at firstname.lastname@example.org