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Former state senator to speak at NAACP banquet
12.04 Diana Johnson
Diana Harvey Johnson - photo by Photo submitted

Former state legislator Diana Harvey Johnson will be the speaker for the Effingham County branch of the NAACP’s banquet on Dec. 8.

The event will be held at the Pilgrim Center in Guyton at 7 p.m.

Diana Harvey Johnson is a businesswoman, community activist, organizer, educator and writer. A graduate of Morris Brown College and the University of Georgia, Johnson taught history at Paine College in Augusta and worked as a historian at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s birthplace and the Vanderbilt Mansion, both in Hyde Park, N.Y.

In 1973, she was hired as program coordinator at the Savannah State College Emergency School Aid Act Program, which was designated to ease the problems and tensions in the community brought about by the desegregation of the public school systems.

In 1974, Johnson organized the first public celebration of Kwanzaa in Savannah. She is the founder of the Savannah-Chatham Coalition of Black Women’s Organizations, the initiator of the actions that first brought to the forefront the need for a local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance.

In the late ’70s, Johnson began selling real estate and opened the first of her small business enterprises. She has worked with journalist and television producer Tony Brown to promote the “Buy Freedom Campaign,” encouraging African-Americans to establish businesses and to turn their money over in their communities as a precursor for economic development.

In 1980, she was an elected Georgia delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business, hosted by President Jimmy Carter. In 1982, she was elected to the fist of five terms in the state House of Representatives and two in the state Senate.

She is the owner of Pinnacle Communications Corporation, a consulting firm that specializes in the areas of organizational and program development, marketing and public relations. She is on the public speaking circuit and is writing two novels slated for publication in 2008.

She and her husband, Herman L. Riley, enjoy their family and very large extended family. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at the age of 13. She is a member and serves on the Board of Trustees of the St. Paul CME Church.

For more information call 754-6204, 772-3515 or 323-2895.