Foundation promotes Sharnita Johnson, hires Henry McClendon

DETROIT - The Skillman Foundation announced this week the promotion of program officer Sharnita Johnson to senior program officer, changemaking. In addition, Henry McClendon has joined the Foundation as a program officer, with a focus on education.

Johnson came to the Foundation in July 2004 with significant programmatic experience in the nonprofit sector as a funder, fundraiser and advisor. Her portfolio includes arts, culture, youth development, community engagement and leadership. Johnson serves on numerous nonprofit boards, and is co-founder and co-chair of the Council on Michigan Foundations' Arts Affinity Group. A native Detroiter, Johnson has a bachelor's degree from Marygrove College and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.

McClendon, who has a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University, comes to the Foundation after serving as director of youth development for New Detroit, Inc. He also was a Michigan regional representative for the International Institute for Restorative Practices, a graduate school that focuses on the emerging social science of restorative practices, which offers a common thread to tie together theory, research and practice in seemingly disparate fields, such as education, counseling, criminal justice, social work and organizational management.

Created in 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy whose chief aim is to help develop good schools and good neighborhoods for children. Though grants are made throughout metropolitan Detroit, most grants are directed at six Detroit neighborhoods - Southwest Detroit (Vernor and Chadsey/Condon), Brightmoor, Osborn, Cody/Rouge and the Northend - and toward innovative and successful schools throughout the city of Detroit.