Lee Turner-Johnson - Founder & President

Lee Turner Johnson - Founder
Dr. Turner Johnson has been involved in education and the development of leadership for a number of years. Her doctorate in Education from Mills College, Oakland, CA. (2002) focused on emergent leadership in early childhood education professionals. Dr. Turner continues to serve as an Adjunct Faculty member of Pacific Oaks College (Pasadena, CA.) teaching eg. Advanced Leadership, Social and Political Context in Human Development, classes in ECE, and is currently Thesis Chair at the Northern California Sacramento campus. Dr. Turner has, over her career, taught in Canada, the United States and Central Africa where she served as a Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) volunteer, teaching Zambian teenage girls, and where she helped develop a new curriculum for Zambian elementary students under the auspices of President Kenneth Kaunda (1967-1969). 

In Oakland, Dr. Turner served as Head Start Director for The Spanish Speaking Unity Council (The Unity Council) from 1990-2004 where she implemented qualitative programs for both Head Start and Early Head Start in a multilingual/diverse context. Her Master’s Degree in Education was also obtained at Mills College, after which she was published in Reflective Supervision in the ASCD journal (Fall 1986), and in a chapter of a book on research on women in education, published in 2005. Dr. Turner Johnson now serves as a Commissioner for First Five Sacramento County.

As Grantland Johnson's wife, Lee has continued her work with non-profits and issues related to poverty and social justice. In the last year of Grantland's life, he and his wife Lee discussed the Institute that had been a vision of his for decades: that it was to be an Institute focusing on people less privileged and of diverse backgrounds. And that it would be fine to include women, as well as his initial focus of black men, and men of other minority cultures. Of course, it was understood that the coursework and literary content of the USC program in which he had engaged was the state of the art and would be used as a starting point, remembering that it was an emergent field with new research and literature to include.

The intent was to allow for the development of future leaders who were dedicated to serving in such a way that would effect positive systems change in the public arena, whether in policy postions, elected or appointed roles, or in leadership positions within public agencies. Grantland wanted others to understand the value of serving across intergovernmental levels and within public agencies related to policy and legislation, bringing reform and innovation through systems change using cooperation, collaboration, interchange, communication, and facilitation between internal and external bodies with a shared vision.  As he would say, "A transformational approach".

With Dr. Turner's background and the work together she and her husband were able to accomplish before his death, she has been able to organize and launch Grantland L Johnson Institute of Leadership Development in the spirit and focus of his vision.