News and Events

Announcing Fahren Johnson as YDEKC’s Thriving Leaders Keynote Speaker on April 9, 2021

POSTED ON March 1, 2021

by Anne Arias

We are thrilled to announce Fahren Johnson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Expanded Learning at Greentrike in Tacoma, as the keynote speaker for Thriving as a Leader in Changing Times, the first quarterly event in our new Thriving Leaders series! 

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I remember meeting Fahren Johnson for the first time at a Youth Development Advocacy Day in Olympia several years ago. She radiates passion and enthusiasm for supporting young people — especially young people of color — and I have been following her work ever since. At a recent meeting of the cross-sector Transformational Collaborative hosted by the Puget Sound Educational Service District, Fahren shared about the creative ways that schools and community organizations are partnering in Tacoma to support youth through a virtual network of out-of-school-time programs. What stood out to me was Fahren’s acknowledgment that the adults in their network were benefiting, along with youth, from practices that facilitate social and emotional learning and a sense of belonging. What does it look like when we build these kinds of supportive cultures within our organizations, and what does that look like now, when so many of us are experiencing individual and collective traumas more than a year into a global pandemic? 

Fahren will launch us into an exploration of these questions with her keynote titled, The Power of Proximity Leadership.” 

The Power of Proximity Leadership

How do you lead with racial equity in alignment with your values during times of crisis? Fahren will share her ground up perspective as a leader in how to apply pressure to the hemorrhage of racism, and why it is critical for youth development professionals to understand that your values determine how you anchor to move racial equity work into action and impact on behalf of young people. 

Register for the event now, and before you attend, we encourage you to learn more about Fahren’s background by reading her bio below.

Fahren Johnson just recently transitioned to Greentrike, an amazing Pierce County education and advocacy organization, as the Director of Strategic Initiatives to lead the Out of School Time Intermediary (OSTI) efforts to improve access and quality to Expanded Learning Opportunities for Tacoma/Pierce County children and youth. In her new role, she will oversee OSTI functions and support Greentrike’s racial equity learning and focus, to seek and fill spots in the community where engaging enrichment programming, play, positive adult interactions and engaging environments can make a difference for children, youth and families. She brings over a decade of experience in Whole Child work, working together with numerous community partners to coordinate ELO for students and has seen firsthand the positive impact these opportunities have on children and youth.  

A Tacoma native, and a foster-adopted child, Fahren understands first-hand what it means to come from disadvantage and the impact caring adults can have in your life. Fahren is a true youth and community advocate and very passionate about the impact Community & School partnerships have on student outcomes, whether you are in Non-Profit, For-Profit, Philanthropy, Expanded Learning, Housing, Health, Early learning, Higher-ed, K12, STEM & Arts. She believes that Whole Child /Child Centered work starts with the child, but does not end there, and can be a powerful thread and current that connects to parents and their surrounding local communities, city, county, and statewide. 

Learn more about how Tacoma is building an expanded learning opportunity system that centers social and emotional learning here: