Founder and CEO, Zora’s House, and director of community entrepreneurship for Franklin County Forward Cities
About: LC Johnson is a writer, entrepreneur and activist with a passion for empowering women, especially women of color. A dynamic community builder, she serves as the Local Director of Community Entrepreneurship for Franklin County Forward Cities and is the founder of Zora’s House, a coworking space and leadership incubator for women of color. She is a recognized subject matter expert whose work and writings on race and gender have appeared in national outlets.
With the right mix of diversity, creativity and will towards change, 50 local leaders could create transformative change in our community.
Outside of work: LC is Cycle 16 Fellow of the African American Leadership Academy; member of the Columbus Commission on Black Girls; and was a featured speaker in the 2017 Women’s Fund Keyholder event. Her 2018 TEDxColumbus talk has been viewed almost 15,000 times
What does Columbus need to thrive? My organization, Zora’s House, is created by, led by, and shaped by women of color. In 2020, this should not still be radical, but it is. The nonprofit and social change sectors are peppered with programs created for women of color, but not in collaboration with or led by women of color. This is true of many initiatives seeking to uplift and empower marginalized communities. As Columbus continues to grow and become more diverse, we already are seeing the level of disparities continuing to rise. If we are committed to building a community where every person can thrive regardless of race, gender, sexuality, class or neighborhood, it will require that we create leadership onramps and prioritize the knowledge, leadership and lived experiences of people whose voices are typically on the margins.
Johnson’s idea: The rise of COVID-19 as well as the social unrest prompted by the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd has shown us the necessity of transformative social change. Without knowing the needs and social/cultural environment one year from now, it is impossible to choose one project. But I do believe that with the right mix of diversity, creativity and will towards change, 50 local leaders could create transformative change in our community.