Vice president of community development, Community Building Partners
About: Johnson joined Community Building Partners in 2020 to work on affordable housing development. He has a bachelor’s degree in Black studies, political science and education from the University of Michigan; a Master of Public Policy degree in social policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University; and a Master of Divinity from the Duke Divinity School. He lives in Weinland Park with his wife, LC Johnson, two children, Sheldon Jr. and Karah, and a mutt named Huey.
For me, a thriving Columbus is not about how many cranes are lining our skyline or the number of craft breweries per capita.
Outside of work: Johnson is an advisory board member for New Leaders Council, a board member of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, a board member of the Police Abuse Law Fund and a Cycle 15 fellow for the African American Leadership Academy.
What does Columbus need to thrive? For me, a thriving Columbus is not about how many cranes are lining our skyline or the number of craft breweries per capita. A thriving Columbus will be a city where residents of neighborhoods like the South Side, Milo-Grogan, Bronzeville, Linden and the Hilltop can be beneficiaries of growth as opposed to collateral damage. The first step is to recognize and acknowledge this fact. From there we can move onto finding and implementing solutions. Columbus has the potential to be a leader in equitable community and neighborhood development. Bringing the collective power of the public, private and human service sectors to do so will make Columbus one of the best cities in the country.
Johnson’s idea: A story drive for a Future 50 annual project. We could conduct interviews of a wide swath of Columbus residents. We could capture stories about the history of Columbus and places in the city that no longer exist. Once we have captured the stories, we could work with community partners to develop artistic representations of these memories and share them on a website or an art installation.