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Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.
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Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq. is a tax attorney in Philadelphia. A 2004 graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, she earned a J.D./M.B.A/ LL.M in Taxation in only four years. Nikki is a frequent speaker on how she overcame a life of poverty and homelessness to become an award winning young attorney. She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors, Board of Trustees for Project H.O.M.E and former Co-Chair of the Women in the Profession Public Service Task Force of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Nikki used that position to start a mentoring program for high-school students interested in pursuing a career in law, conducted numerous panels about issues related to educational opportunities and the law and even co-moderated a fireside chat with Bill Cosby. In addition she has won several awards including the Craig M. Perry Community Service Award given by the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, been named a 2009 “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by the Legal Intelligencer, one of the “10 People under 40 to Watch in 2010” by The Philadelphia Tribune, a 2010 Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction, 2011 Next Generation of Leadership: Rising Star, 2nd Annual Fashioning Futures for Women Honoree by the Career Wardrobe, one of the 2012 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 by The National Bar Association and a 2012 USA Eisenhower Fellow, where she will travel to India and New Zealand in September 2012 to work with women and children who are homeless and living in poverty. Nikki was recently named Diversity Chair for the Philadelphia Bar Association and a 2013 Diverse Attorney of the Year by the Legal Intelligencer.

Entries by Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.

Hands Up, Don't Tax: The Tax Policy That Contributed to Eric Garner's Death

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 4:22 PM

As an African-American tax attorney, I have been closely watching the recent events around police interactions with the black community that have gripped the nation and monopolized the 24-hour news cycle for the last few weeks. Protests, riots, charges of police brutality, die-ins, and chants of "Black lives matter!" and...

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The Republicans' Poverty Problem

(2) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 3:45 PM

With the 2014 midterm elections coming up later this year and the eagerly hyped possible 2016 presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and the banged up -- but still formidable -- governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, many of us are trying to decide the future direction of our great country...

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The War on Poverty Gave Me a Chance at Success

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 3:42 PM

As we celebrate 50 years of President Johnson's War on Poverty this week, many people are asking whether the war has been a success or not. In my opinion there is no question that the war on poverty has helped millions of people like me who were born into poverty...

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My Story of Childhood Hunger: From Hungry to Lawyer

(3) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 5:51 PM

A large part of my childhood was spent battling hunger, food insecurity, poverty and sometimes homelessness. When people ask me how growing up in those circumstances impacted my life, I tell them that it made me someone I would not have otherwise been.

I spent many days hungry, scared and...

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Marching Forward

(3) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 2:42 PM

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington many people are reflecting on the current state of the civil rights movement and how far we as a country have advanced on the issue of race since 1963. There is no doubt in my mind that we have...

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What the Trayvon Martin Case Means for Middle Class Blacks

(37) Comments | Posted July 21, 2013 | 4:11 PM

I cried when I heard about the George Zimmerman verdict because I knew that it would tear the country apart around racial lines. I also knew that as a middle class black person that I was going to be called upon for my perspective by my white colleagues, friends and...

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No Shame in This Woman's Game

(1) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 3:07 PM

For the last several weeks, we have been having a very familiar conversation about women, family, career, leadership and power. The common question is "can women have it all?" and the expected answer is "not all at the same time." I think we are asking the wrong question. The better...

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The Color of Love

(21) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 12:12 PM

My husband is the perfect man for me. He is tall, handsome, smart, sweet, kind and my best friend. He is also white.

In the new America, we (interracial couples) are becoming more and more common. One sign of the progress we have made as a country is that...

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How to Fear Less and Be More

(3) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 3:14 PM

If you asked most people, they would say that they have valid reasons why they aren't living their dreams. They have children, don't have enough money, are tied to their job, are too old or life just got in the way. So many of us let our fears stand in...

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Solutions to Ending Poverty in the 21st Century: Part 3

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 6:52 PM

The final piece to solving poverty in the 21st century is providing quality education to those living in poverty.

I spend a lot of time speaking about how important education is for us to be competitive in this new world, but I worry that the message...

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Solutions to Ending Poverty in the 21st Century: Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 2:32 PM

The second of three discussion areas I proposed in my blog "Solutions to Ending Poverty in the 21st Century: Part 1" is to find a way to end generational poverty by focusing on the breakdown of the family structure. Talking about the role that the lack of family...

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Will the Next King Please Stand Up?

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 5:06 PM

Many people ask me how I was able to overcome the obstacles in my life and I always give them the same answer, god, grandma, hard work, mentors, luck, and sacrifice. I needed all of those things for me to make it.

What I also needed were the people...

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How to End Poverty in the 21st Century: Part 1

(3) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 4:33 PM

There is a lot of talk about poverty and its causes and effects, but rarely do the discussions escape the blame game and delve into serious considerations about real world solutions for getting people out of poverty.

The debate usually focuses on whether we should help those living in...

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The Republicans Never Asked Me to the Dance

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 10:29 AM

I felt like this year's election was like being at a high school prom but no one bothered to ask me to dance. At the beginning it looked like I had two strong contenders for my attention. Both tall, handsome and smart, I felt like such a lucky girl. One...

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My Final Thoughts of My Time in India

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 2:10 PM

I can't believe that my three and a half weeks in India have come to an end. I have learned more than I could have ever imagined when I first arrived. India turned out to be so much more than I imagined. A growing country that is both traditional and...

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Kolkata

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 7:31 PM

Kolkata was a crowded and rainy city, but definitely felt like the cultural and literary center of India. The infrastructure was clearly lacking in being able to support the almost 20 million people who live there, but the warmth of the people and their welcoming spirit make the inconveniences seem...

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A Women's Self-Help Group in Hyderabad, India

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 12:37 PM

I spent three days in Hyderabad and came to specifically visit the Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty programs. They provide micro-financing loans through small self-help groups of women in rural villages. These groups allow women who many times may not have jobs outside of the family to access...

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Visiting Children in Pune, India

(2) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 6:03 PM

I am in India as an Eisenhower Fellow studying issues related to poverty, with an special emphasis on women and children. My three days in Pune were all about the kids. I visited a home for orphaned and abandoned children. They welcomed me with open arms and several traditional dances,...

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The Slums of India

(4) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 2:09 PM

People tried to warn me that the poverty that I would see in India would be unimagineable and they were right. I grew up in extreme poverty and even spent several months on the streets of California as a nine-year-old with my mother and younger brother. I have lived through...

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My Week In Delhi

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 8:00 AM

I spent seven days in Delhi and what a wonderful introduction to India it was. As I start the next part of my journey in Mumbai, I wanted to reflect on the first week of my Eisenhower Fellowship.

From my very first meeting with the team from Aga Khan touring...

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