Robin Johnson

Director of Equity Advancement

robin@ceipdx.org

What do you do at CE&I?
I am the Director of Equity Advancement. I manage the trajectory of non-profits as they embark upon the creation, refinement, and implementation of their Equity Plans into their overarching organizational and strategic aims and objectives. I also provide executive level coaching to ensure the success of infusing equity broadly and deeply throughout an organization.

What did you do prior to CE&I?
Prior to CEI, I was an Inclusion Policy Advisor with the Office of the Governor, where I focused on issues around workforce diversity and inclusion, civil rights, and organizational change management. I’ve also worked for the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion focused on issues of workforce diversity and social determinants of health.

Why do you do this work?
As a woman of color, having felt the impact of intuitional racism throughout my life, I have found that the barriers were at times ameliorated by personal connections helping me to navigate the system, but the more devastating effects needed to be addressed holistically and systemically. Without that overarching approach the negative impacts just kept reoccurring, not only for myself, but for others in my family and community.

Additionally, I recognize the vital importance for organizations and agencies to be able to effectively meet the needs of their constituencies, and to value their employees. This is best done through the strategic and meaningful application of an equity lens that allows for far reaching transformational change to take place internal and external to the organization, and that has a manifested impact within the communities they aim to serve.

What do you believe?
I believe that social justice can be an integral part of our day-to-day lives, personally and professionally, and this requires a consistent amount of introspection and reflection. Additionally, the work to move the dial on issues of equity require us, as individuals, to lean in as collaborative and intentional community members to “be the change [we] wish to see in the world.” (paraphrased, Mahatma Gandhi).

What is a question that guides your work?
What does it take to move the hearts and minds of folks across diverse backgrounds to buy into the living reality of an equitable society?

What is a quote that resonates with you?
“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” – bell hooks