College of Education and Human Development

Connect Magazine

Honoring Dr. Josie R. Johnson’s U of M legacy

Civil rights icon helped steer the course of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the U, and CEHD is committed to expand upon the efforts she began in the college by increasing the number of Common Ground Consortium Scholars

Hope in the Struggle Part 2: Dr. Johnson’s colleagues and friends
share how she has helped shape diversity, equity, and inclusion at the
University of Minnesota (6 minute video).

Help us continue Dr. Johnson’s legacy by contributing to the Josie R. Johnson Scholarship through the Common Ground Consortium.

Connect with CEHD’s Office of External Relations to determine how your interests align with this priority area.

Hope in the Struggle Part 1: Dr. Johnson’s colleagues and friends
discuss her contributions to her community, locally and nationally (10 minute video).

The Common Ground Consortium supports Josie R. Johnson Scholars who continue Dr. Johnson’s legacy. Learn more about the Common Ground Consortium.

Josie Johnson speaking at podium
Josie Johnson
Josie is an incredible combination of intelligence, knowledge, courage, and strength, with a heavy dose of compassion…
3  people holding Minnesota sign
Josie Johnson and family

The Common Ground Consortium

The Common Ground Consortium (CGC) was established in 1989 to form a consortium with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) to recruit on an annual basis African American graduates for advanced study. The primary purpose of CGC was to support them through their advanced academic journey with financial assistance, community support, and professional development.

CGC participants have gone on to become professors, consultants, superintendents, researchers, teachers and have done much to advance Black intellectualism.


“What are you students looking for in order to stay in Minnesota after you graduate?” asked Essie Johnson, diversity coordinator for the Apple Valley/Eagan/Rosemount school district, at a 1995 meeting of the CGC. Photo by Leo Kim.