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Sheila C. Johnson
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Sheila C. Johnson is an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose accomplishments span the arenas of media, hospitality, sports, the arts, education and humanitarian causes.

Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, a company she founded in 2005. She oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties including Woodlands Inn in Summerville, South Carolina, Innisbrook, a 72-hole Golf & Spa Resort in Innisbrook, Florida, and the much-anticipated Salamander Resort & Spa, currently being constructed in Middleburg, Virginia.

As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and President and Managing Partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, Johnson is the first African-American woman to have a stake in three professional sports teams including the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Capitals (NHL). As a founding partner of BET (Black Entertainment Television), she pioneered modern television programming and created the award-winning program Teen Summit, an issues-oriented talk show for the network’s youth viewers. Currently, Johnson produces films that convey a strong humanitarian message, with completed projects including Kicking It, A Powerful Noise, She Is The Matador and her latest film, The Other City, about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington, D.C.

In 2006, Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading aid organization fighting global poverty by empowering women. Johnson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York. A fervent supporter of the arts and education, Ms. Johnson was recently selected by Governor Bob McDonnell to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. Additionally, President Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and she sits on the boards of Americans for the Arts, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Howard University and the University of Illinois Foundation.

An accomplished violinist, Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from numerous other institutions. She lives in Middleburg, VA, is married to the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. and has two children.

Blog Entries by Sheila C. Johnson

How Much Do You Know about HIV/AIDS?

(76) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 4:12 PM

In 1983, both Newsweek and TIME devoted cover stories to a new, strange, and deadly disease, with terrifying titles like "Epidemic" and "The AIDS Hysteria." In those awful days, nearly three decades ago, it seemed like AIDS was everywhere--the grimmest of reapers, waiting to strike, without hope of prevention or...

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Joel Ward and the Hypocrisy of Racism in Sports

(205) Comments | Posted April 27, 2012 | 5:17 PM

In 1958, winger Willie O'Ree became the first African American athlete to play in the NHL. Which team was responsible for breaking the color barrier? The Boston Bruins.

The second and third black players in the NHL were Mike Marson and Bill Riley, both signed by the Washington Capitals....

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Sundance Through the Eyes of My Son

(24) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 1:48 PM

I've just returned from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where I serve as a board member. I met daily with directors, talent, and supporters. As always, it was dynamic and exciting. And, as always, the festival showcased scores of extraordinary films. Some hilarious, some heartbreaking; some fantastic, some frightening; and...

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Finding Hope in Haiti

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 5:40 PM

"Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one." Those words from Stella Adler crystallized my feelings as I toured Haiti last week with one of the greatest creative minds in the world -- my friend Donna Karan, whose Urban Zen Foundation is...

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Ending HIV/AIDS in D.C.: A Capital Priority

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2011 | 10:08 AM

I am proud to be involved in the global movement to fight HIV/AIDS through my work with the Accordia Global Health Foundation, which is building healthcare capacity and strengthening academic medical institutions in the heart of Africa to combat HIV/AIDS and other devastating infectious diseases.

But as a...

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Band-Aids Will Not Stop the Bleeding

(41) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 2:25 PM

On October 11, I participated in a Congressional Roundtable on centers of healthcare excellence in Africa and the contributions of the U.S. private sector in driving health innovation and leadership. The Roundtable was hosted by Accordia Global Health Foundation, the organization responsible for the creation of the

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Paving the Way for a Generation Free of HIV

(3) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 5:40 PM

Jackie is a 27-year-old, HIV-positive woman who contracted the virus when she was raped at the age of 15. When her HIV status was disclosed, she was shunned by family and friends and found herself living on the streets. The circumstances under which Jackie was living caused her to miss...

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Remembering Our Past, Taking Responsibility for Our Future

(90) Comments | Posted August 26, 2011 | 8:20 AM

To see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s majestic likeness rise from the shore of the Tidal Basin, to brush a hand across his words, chiseled in granite, is an extraordinary thing. And this week's unveiling of the King memorial in Washington, D.C., is an extraordinary moment for the African-American community,...

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Welcome to HuffPost BlackVoices!

(62) Comments | Posted August 4, 2011 | 9:00 AM

On a clear January day, less than three years ago, as Barack Obama stood before the U.S. Capitol and the world, Rev. Joseph Lowery began his benediction with a verse from "Lift Every Voice and Sing" -- also known as the Negro National Anthem. As Dayna L. Cunningham of MIT...

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What Would Laura Do?

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 12:01 PM

As I entered Stage 15 on the Sony lot, I joined a room full of friends -- cancer researchers, Hollywood executives, actors, directors, and colleagues -- gathered to comfort one another as we celebrated the life of the extraordinary movie producer Laura Ziskin, who passed away on June 12 at...

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Women Have to Champion One Another

(118) Comments | Posted June 15, 2011 | 2:18 PM

This month marks the 39th anniversary of the signing of Title IX, which broke down the barriers to opportunity for women, on the playing field and in the classroom.

The results have been dramatic: In 1971, 300,000 high school girls played sports; today, that...

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Why Sports Teams Need Women Owners

(30) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 3:08 PM

In sports, as in life, the journey is as powerful as the destination. It's not just about winning; it's about how we as a team come together and support one another. It's not about the trophy; it's about realizing your full potential and never accepting anything but the best for...

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AIDS in America -- And A Kiss Goodbye (VIDEO)

(3) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 8:46 AM

Too often we fail to see -- and worse, fail to face -- what's happening right in our own backyard.

As global ambassador for CARE, a leading aid organization fighting global poverty, I traveled to Africa and South America, where the impact of the AIDS epidemic is heartbreaking. Yet the...

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On the Shoulders of Giants -- The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson

(96) Comments | Posted January 17, 2010 | 4:11 PM

For all the great figures that have defined the civil rights battles of the past 50 years, there are two who stand above all others. Two men who were not only contemporaries, but friends and colleagues -- who drew strength from one another, and stood by one another, and lifted...

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On International Women's Day, Let's Make a Powerful Noise

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2009 | 7:09 PM

As we prepare to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, consider the state of the world's women.

Seventy percent of the poorest people living in the world today are women and girls. Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet they earn just 10 percent of the...

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Finding the Audacity of Hope in Denver

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2008 | 8:22 PM

Greetings from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. It's thrilling to be here and witness all of us democrats finally turning our attention to the substantive issues and decisions of this election -- like coming together to nominate Barack Obama to be the 44th president of the United States -- and...

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