|Lee Turner Johnson - Founder
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 community. Her Master’s Degree in Education was also obtained at Mills College, after which she was published in Reflective Supervision in ASCD journal (Fall 1986), and in a chapter of a book on research on women in education, published in 2005. Dr. Turner Johnson continues to serve as a Commissioner for First Five Sacramento County.
As Grantland Johnson's wife, Lee has continued her previous 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 all who wished to serve as public servants representing minority cultures. The coursework and literary content of the USC program in which he had engaged and was the state of the art was used as a starting point, remembering that it was an emergent field with new research and literature.
The focus was and remains to allow for the development of future leaders who are dedicated to serving in a manner that will effect positive systems change in the public arena, whether in policy positions, 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. At the time of his death, Grantland was one of eleven people in the United States that had served at all governmental levels.
With Dr. Turner's background and the work she and her husband were able to accomplish together before his death, she has been able to organize, launch and graduate two Cohorts of participants from Grantland L Johnson Institute of Leadership Development in the spirit and focus of his vision.