I’m honored to have entrepreneur, philanthropist and education advocate Sheila C. Johnson deliver a keynote at BbWorld 2018, taking place July 17-19 in Orlando, Florida. Ms. Johnson’s accomplishments span business, arts and education, women’s empowerment and community development.

Named by Forbes in 2017 as one of the “Top 50 most successful self-made women,” Ms. Johnson has blazed new trails in multiple business sectors. She co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), which was acquired by Viacom in 2000. She’s founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. In addition, she’s Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: the Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Washington Mystics (WNBA).

A common thread throughout Ms. Johnson’s journey is a passion for empowering others to reach their full potential through education. She began her career as a concert violinist and music teacher in the Washington, D.C. area. Today, The Hill School in Virginia is home to the Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center, New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York City is home to the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center and Morrisville State College in Upstate New York is home to the Sheila Johnson Design Center. She’s also a member of the Leadership Council at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, where she founded the Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellowship, which supports emerging leaders who share a commitment to reducing disparities in African-American communities.  She also is a member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which focuses on bridging the minority achievement gap in higher education.

As institutions continue to adapt to meet the needs of today’s learners, Ms. Johnson brings a business perspective to tackling some of the biggest challenges in education. From workforce readiness to access to education, her strong business acumen and enduring commitment to education will no doubt inspire our client attendees.

I can’t wait for Ms. Johnson to share her unexpected journey and the importance of perseverance in her success as a business leader in her keynote on Tuesday, July 17, kicking off a jam-packed BbWorld agenda. The annual event is one of the largest edtech conferences in the world bringing together thousands of educators, administrators and industry leaders from around the world to network, share successes, and build action plans addressing critical issues in education. This year’s conference will focus on how Blackboard is partnering with its clients in K-12 districts, higher education institutions, government agencies and companies to help them drive success for their learners. The conference also features DevCon, a day-and-a-half agenda focused on the developer community.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join us this July in Orlando. Visit www.bbworld.com to learn more and register.

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