Women We Love 2022: Samantha Marie Johnson

Samantha Marie Johnson

by Heritage of Pride/NYC Pride

“I found NYC Pride during a transitional period in my life,” Samantha Marie Johnson tells GO. Four short years later, Johnson serves as the organization’s senior event manager, producing nine of its 13 official events, creating community programming, and assisting in managing sponsor integrations. And she takes her role seriously, aiming to elevate LGBTQ+ populations who may have less of a voice in the crowd. “Since the start of my time with NYC Pride, I’ve been very intentional about working with community leaders and organizations to build inclusive programs during Pride, specifically highlighting our more marginalized communities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella,” says Johnson, who previously served as National Director of Volunteers for the Green Festivals, managing over 900 volunteers per event and developing long-term volunteer engagement. Her own identity comes into play as well, Johnson says. “As a Black queer woman, I am proud to have a seat at a table that provides so much joy and a feeling of what liberation could look like.” As an event producer, Johnson is dedicated to work that connects with her core values, as well as designing specific experiences for target audiences. She’s also the co- founder of VASCANO Tequila, a Black, LGBTQ+, and female-owned brand currently in development. The most rewarding aspect of her work, she says, is “the simple ability to provide a platform that gives our community the opportunity to tell our stories through lived experiences, high- light our untold history, and take a stance on how we move toward a more inclusive and equitable future.” –LE

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