Insight News

Feb 10th

Students of WE WIN Institute were recently treated to the gift of living history

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090Children kindergarten through 2nd grade learned about the incredible life of Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson, who has given and sacrificed her all in the benefit of African-American people.

After reading about the accomplishments of Johnson, WE WIN's youngest learners worked with their teacher to develop an essay about the life of this African-American icon that would show her that they understood her contributions to their community. The students had a discussion about what they wanted to include in their essay and their WE WIN teacher helped them create a collaborative essay.

When the students presented in front of Johnson, each one of them told her a fact about her life. It was clear, she was impressed that these young people knew so much about her.

Below is the essay the students presented.

josie johnson drawingOur Shero, Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson
By Shalom Ameto, Elannah Wright, Iyana Giles, Alyn Lopez, Jocelyn Lopez and Davon Harris

Dr. Josie Johnson has always been helpful towards other people.

As a civil rights worker and community activist she has served the Minnesota community for many years. Josie Robinson was born in Houston on October 7, 1930. Her work in the Civil Rights Movement started at an early age. Johnson and her father worked hard to stop a poll tax against African-Americans that would have made it hard for them to vote. They knew this was wrong and were successful in their efforts. That was just the start of things to come for Johnson.

Johnson graduated from Fisk University in Tennessee and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1967 she became the director of the Minneapolis Urban League where she helped Black people find jobs and housing. In 1968 she worked as an aide to Minneapolis Mayor Arthur Naftalin. During that time she worked hard to end discrimination against Blacks on the Northside of the Minneapolis. In 1971, Johnson was chosen as the first African-American to serve on the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota. To honor her hard work and dedication, the university created the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award.

In memory of her daughter, Patricia Johnson, and friend, Congressman Mickey Leland, Johnson started the Leland-Johnson Common Vision Organization so that Black and Jewish people can learn about each other's cultures. Dr. Josie Johnson is a nice and helpful person and has always put other people first. She is a great leader and role model for all of us. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite place to vacation is Hawaii.

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