Dr. Maria Johnson is a scholar, philanthropist, and author whose work focuses on inequalities in race, gender, family, and policy. Dr. Johnson leads the Black Women and Girls Fund (BWGF), which awards grants to projects that seek to improve the lives of and fight barriers faced by Black women and girls. With BWGF, Dr. Johnson also seeks to empower the leadership and expertise of Black women and girls. Additionally, she works to help transform diversity in philanthropy through her consulting practice, Equity Thought.
In her research and writing, Dr. Johnson uses qualitative methods and critical race and gender theories to examine the intersection of race, gender, and class discourse within Black daughter-father relationships, fatherhood studies, and family policies. She is currently completing a book tentatively titled Black Daughters, Black Fathers: Understanding Complex Family Relationships. Additionally, she has published works on intersectionality and family relationships in top research journals, including Gender & Society and the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, and has published other works about the efforts of Black women to fight stereotypes and embrace positive images in areas like philanthropy and social media.
Previously, Dr. Johnson served as an assistant professor at the University of Delaware in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and taught courses related to racial inequality, gender, and the politics of poverty. She also worked on issues of diversity, policy, and scholarship in various positions at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in public policy and sociology from the University of Michigan and a BA in history from Hampton University.