Tamara Johnson, M.Ed.

Tamara’s primary and full-time job is serving as the Executive Director of Malaika Early Learning Center. As the executive director she has the pleasure of leading a state-of-the-art facility that focuses on children birth through age eight in its early childhood and elementary school programs.

She has held director positions at Milwaukee Public Schools (District Parent Involvement) and COA Youth and Family Centers (HIPPY/HIP). She has an Associate Degree in Child Development, Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and has a Master’s in Early Childhood Administration. Additionally, she has earned certifications such as a Certificate in Early Childhood Leadership and many others.

Tamara has held positions on the Board of Directors of the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI)-Milwaukee Affiliate, Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators (MMABSE), Parents Plus Inc. and many other organizations. More recently, Tamara was named to the governing board for NAEYC for a 4 year term beginning in June 2017.

Previous accomplishments include but are not limited to; 2005 fellow of the Children’s Defense Fund Emerging Leaders Project, 2005 participant of the National Women’s Law Center PLAN (Progressive Leadership and Advocacy Network) and 2007 participant in the White House Project. Additionally, she is a contributing author to the article “Leadership Development for a Changing Early Childhood Landscape” in the NAEYC Young Children magazine in May 2015. Tamara is also the 2020 recipient of the Milwaukee Times Black Excellence Award.

Additional experiences include participation in the Marquette University College of Professional Studies, Future Milwaukee Program and the Early Childhood Leadership Credential at UW-Milwaukee, and being selected as a 2013-14 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Legacy Leader Fellow.


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