Keynote Speaker


We are delighted that our Keynote Speaker this year at the Awards Banquet will be Nicole Johnson, Chicago Public Servant and Candidate for Alderman of Chicago's 20th Ward! Here's  a little more information about her:

Nicole Johnson is a Chicago native, born and raised on Chicago’s Englewood community on the southside. Public service is rooted at each of her professional experiences, surveying education, civic engagement and equitable economic development. She began her career as a 3rd grade Chicago Public School teacher, where she was successful in closing her students’ math achievement gap. Her transition from the classroom was prompted by her observance that her influence was limited by the classroom and that there were greater issues that affected her students’ ability to learn and grow. She looked to the political and advocacy space to broaden her impact. At Chicago Votes, she planned and executed the “Parade to the Polls” with Chance the Rapper. Additionally, she co-developed the strategy to pass Automatic Voter Registration into Illinois law. At Teamwork Englewood, she developed the organization’s impact narrative and communicated it to various stakeholders. She has also developed the Englewood Planning Advisory Council review process, to improve communication between the Englewood aldermen and the community.

Nicole’s service extends beyond her professional roles. She became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Beta Eta Chapter in 2010 at the University of Michigan. And an elected Community Representative for the Kershaw Elementary School Local School Council.

In 2017, Nicole was selected as a New Leaders Council Fellow and Obama Foundation Civic Engagement Peer Advisor. She has had the opportunity to serve in Senator Durbin’s office on Capitol Hill, IL Senator Jacqueline Collins district office, and work on Representative Robin Kelly’s Treasurer for IL and Congressional campaigns.  She has earned an M.S. ED. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.A. in Teaching from National Louis University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Nicole is looking forward to addressing our Sisters at the 2018 National Convention!

"We must understand that going the distance takes time. It's not a sprint, it is a journey. You will be slower at some points and faster at others. But remember that you are always right on time." -Nicole Johnson