Notable Minority Executives: Clarence Johnson

Executive director, Wisconsin Community Services, Inc.

  • Category: Notable Minority Executives
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 35
  • Undergrad degree/university: Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Graduate degree/university: Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Clarence Johnson has been the executive director of Milwaukee-based nonprofit Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. (WCS) for four years. In that time, under his leadership, WCS has expanded its breadth of programming and impact on the communities it serves.

When Johnson became executive director in 2017, WCS had 35 programs, 260 employees and an annual budget of $25 million. Today, it has more than 50 programs, more than 420 employees and an annual budget of $45 million.

Johnson has overseen a number of significant and complex agency initiatives. These include the expansion of shelter care and mental health services for youth and young adults; the addition of Community Building Milwaukee, an initiative that aims to reduce crime, violence, and poverty through Community Building Workshops; and the growth of WCS’ Black Male Advisory Council, a committee of African American men who work at WCS dedicated to working on projects that strengthen themselves and the community.

He has also overseen the re-opening of the Joshua Glover Residential Reentry Center; the establishment of a partnership with the city of Milwaukee Department of Public Works, resulting in well-paying seasonal placements for WCS program participants; and the implementation of the Bakari Center, which houses a residential care center for adolescent males involved in the youth justice system and a youth crisis stabilization facility.

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