Winter 2020

Increasing inclusivity

Kania Johnson and Josie Johnson
Courtesy: Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Read the description of the type of student being sought for the Josie Robinson Johnson Fellowship, and Kania Johnson, ’19 B.S., is the perfect fit. The fellowship, named in honor of a longtime civil rights activist and the University of Minnesota’s first African American Regent, supports students who are addressing racial inequalities and injustice. 

Kania (no relation to Josie), a master of public policy candidate at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is the first recipient of the fellowship. As an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, she studied relationships between black mothers and their children. Last summer, she examined how experts on racial inequality in the Twin Cities talk about the topic based on their proximity to the communities they serve. 

“My eyes were opened,” she says. “I hadn’t realized the extent of the disparities in education, housing, and unemployment in the Twin Cities area.” 

Kania says receiving the fellowship has given her “the opportunity of a lifetime” to work toward inclusive education for all students. 

“I am so grateful to the Humphrey School and Josie Johnson for believing in these kinds of visions and dreams,” she says. “I’m excited to work across sectors and make the lives of young people better than they might be right now.”