Alencia Johnson is the living embodiment of her ancestor’s wildest dreams. As a sought after political communications professional, Johnson worked with the Obama campaign and Planned Parenthood before joining Elizabeth Warren’s staff as the director of public engagement. As her career advances to new heights, humility keeps the Virginia native close to the roots that grew her passion for social justice.
“My grandmother would say I am the woman that she wanted to be. And that’s someone who doesn’t necessarily ask for permission but asks for forgiveness later, that is literally who I am,” Johnson told theGrio.
Her determined and unapologetic approach to her success earned her a spot on President Obama’s re-election campaign with his surrogate communications team. Her work with Obama caught the attention of Planned Parenthood executives who asked Johnson to join their cause in New York.
“I moved to New York City, and I worked at Planned Parenthood for six years building a constituency communications department that focused on Black folks, Latinx folks, young people and people of faith,” Johnson explained.
But the communications strategist was compelled to switch gears as the shadow of Donald Trump’s possible two-term presidency looms over this year’s election.
“I said, you know what, I can’t just sit here and watch Donald Trump run away with an election and not try to stop it, and I don’t believe he will if the right folks are getting in the game, and that’s why when Senator Warren’s team called me, I said, ‘you know what, this is it.’” she said.
Johnson is elated to stand in the epicenter of a possible history-defining moment. Telling The Grio, “It is such an awesome time to actually work on a campaign to hopefully elect the first woman president.”
Of all the tenets of Warren’s campaign, Johnson is personally invested in the senator’s policies aimed towards Black America. She explains that folks would be “pleasantly surprised” about how race centered and race forward Warren’s agenda is.
Even though every political staffer wants their candidate to win, Johnson believes that no matter who wins the White House, Black women will be the ultimate victors.
“I think one of the most powerful stories that is going to come out of this cycle is the amount of Black women leadership across the campaigns,” Johnson told theGrio.
“For a long time, Black women have been talking about, ‘you have to value our vote,’ and we’ve gotten to a place of, ‘to value our vote you have to let us be in leadership positions.’”
Johnson exists proudly in a cohort of Black female game-changers who are influencing today’s politics.
“There are so many of us there, at the end of the day, I think Black women are going to win. Regardless of who wins, I think Black women are going to win. “