Dane County honors longtime leader, celebrates ‘Michael Johnson Day’

Dane County honors longtime leader, celebrates ‘Michael Johnson Day’
Michael Johnson

June 20 is “Michael Johnson Day” in Dane County as the community says goodbye to the longtime leader of the Boys & Girls Club.

A “farewell soiree” is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Edgewater Hotel. It is open to the public.

The county will recognize Michael Johnson for his eight years of work with the Boys & Girls Club and the community as a whole. In that time, he quadrupled the number of families the club serves and expanded its budget by more than 300 percent, while taking on a bigger role as a voice for the Madison-area’s African-American community.

Johnson has spoken on a variety of issues: from racism and the achievement gap, to violence prevention and homelessness. He’s also worked to improve access to menstrual products for girls in schools.

Last month, Johnson announced plans to leave Madison to take a job with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, where he’ll start on July 9. In a Facebook post, Johnson called the position with the United Way his “dream job.” The Greater Cincinnati branch is the sixth largest United Way in the country, serving 10 counties across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Current Executive Vice President Rod Mitchell will serve as the interim head of the Boys & Girls Club until a permanent replacement is found.