Age: 33, Executive Vice President, Workforce Development
Dress for Success Worldwide, New York City
Texas native Denalerie Janeen Johnson believes in “womenomics”: redefining success, building strategies and vocalizing what a woman of power truly is. “Women of color often have life struggles; those that are also disabled and LGBT-identified, as I am, face even more challenges when seen as a quadruple minority,” she says.
Johnson is executive vice president of workforce development at Dress for Success Worldwide, which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women worldwide by providing a network of support and vital employment retention tools. “I encourage women to be comfortable in their skin, have confidence in their personal brand and strive for self-sufficiency,” she says. “I was told that I am a pioneer, and the impoverished communities I serve are my inspiration to leave a legend.”
Some of Johnson’s studies have been at Howard University and Columbia University. She is an honors graduate with a B.A., B.S., M.A., Ed.M. and three professional certificates. She is currently a human services and nonprofit management doctoral candidate in the School of Leadership and Public Service at Capella University. Johnson serves on the board of directors for JusticeWorks Inc. and is a member of the Black Women for Black Girls giving circle.
While she balances life by gardening, studying holistic medicine and feng shui, painting and meditating, she is “up for the challenge of the next phase in life so that I can recreate myself as an inspiration for all girls of color,” she says. As she and her partner prepare for parenthood, she finds enjoyment “in the simple things, like cold lemonade and [watching] The Young and the Restless.”
Favorite food: Gumbo
Favorite charity: Dress for Success Worldwide
Favorite sports team: Houston Rockets
Favorite song: “Strength, Courage & Wisdom” by India.Arie
Last movie: The Color Purple
Favorite comedian: Karen Williams