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AYESHIA “AJ”

JOHNSON-GARRETT

Program Specialist, UMOJA Student Development Corporation SEL Specialist

Ayeshia Johnson-Garrett is a capacity builder with over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Currently serving as the Learning & Program Specialist for UMOJA, a citywide non-profit that support schools, districts, and organizations in the core areas of social-emotional literacy, post-secondary readiness, and restorative mindsets and practices that focus on healing rather than exclusionary disciplinary practices. Prior to UMOJA, Ayeshia worked with youth leaders and adults to be active and engaged in policy-making, democracy, and community problem solving through an Action Civics nonprofit organization called Mikva Challenge. 

At Mikva Challenge, as the Senior Program Director, she was strategic in developing community networks to integrate youth voice, choice and decision-making power with neighborhood Local Initiatives Support Chicago. Ayeshia is passionately curious about the intersections of historical trauma, community-based action, and healing intergenerational trauma. Growing in her capacity for community-based research and participatory budgeting she strengthens her practitioner network by way of participation in the Chicago Coalition on Urban Girls (CUG).

From 2016 to present, Ayeshia help launch CUG Conference Forums that focus on strategic recommendations to shift the social norms for gender equality and improve the health, safety, and wellness of ALL girls who reside in Chicago. On October 11, 2018 – the International Day of the Girl, CUG released “Girls in the City: A Status Report on Teen Girls Residing in Chicago.”  From 2017-2019 the governing body appointed Ayeshia serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee, and she continues to advocate for data and social connectivity of all girls that closely relate to a community that needs to improve the quality of life for everyone. She is a visionary and builder of relationships, Ayeshia believes in the excellence, elevation, and compassion for all people. 

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