Tawana Thomas Johnson is our senior vice president and chief diversity officer and serves on the CEO’s executive team.
In her mission-critical role, Tawana heads up our stand-alone Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team and is ultimately responsible for leading efforts to design and implement strategies that drive diversity, equity, and inclusion to meet our mission, revenue, and talent goals.
Since joining the American Cancer Society in 2006 as director of Health Disparities for the former South Atlantic Division, Tawana has led the development of outreach tools, programs, and resources to increase awareness of the unequal burden of cancer in diverse communities, resulting in the significant increase of diverse constituents utilizing our organization’s programs and services. Among these tools is the “More Than Conquerors” documentary, which features testimonies and interviews with cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians, and renowned clergy. Tawana served as executive producer for the documentary, which received national acclaim and premiered at the National Black Film Festival.
Tawana has successfully led the American Cancer Society in increasing workforce diversity at all levels of the organization (a 17% increase in the overall hiring rate from 2017 to 2019), addressing pay parity, and significantly improving employee engagement around diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, ACS also joined the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion movement, which brings together more than 1,600 organizations committed to driving diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Tawana’s ongoing role also includes engaging corporate executives, high-level donors, and leadership volunteers in furthering the fight against cancer through revenue generation and mission engagement.
Additionally, Tawana provides leadership for an initiative in partnership with The Links, Incorporated, and the Elevance Health Foundation that aims to recruit 500 diverse volunteers and reach an estimated 10,000 people with information about cancer prevention and early detection.
Tawana also serves in leadership capacities with several national organizations including the African Heritage Studies Association, The Links, Incorporated, and the NAACP. She also serves on several boards, including the Oprah Winfrey Network OWN Your Health advisory board.