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Johnisha Levi

Senior Grant Writer
Hometown: Nashville, TN

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Johnisha has a passion for working to strengthen the missions of nonprofits strategically. Most recently, as the Development Manager for The Nashville Food Project (TNFP), she successfully secured foundation, corporate, and government grants to support programming that alleviates food insecurity, builds community and creates a more just and sustainable food system. She also helped lead the organization on matters of Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity. Largely due to her efforts, TNFP will be launching a new standing committee composed of both Board and staff members to drive a comprehensive, organizational approach to DEI.

Previously, Johnisha managed a community-based culinary nutrition program active in 10 major cities that focused on the health of individuals of African descent. In addition to forging vital new community partnerships and conducting trainings for new community leaders, she wrote and piloted a new children’s version of a six-week culturally relevant curriculum. As a practicing attorney at a top 50 law firm in DC, she devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono legal work to a host of nonprofit causes. As a law student, she advocated for criminal defense advocacy nonprofits seeking post-conviction relief for clients sentenced to death.

Johnisha is on the Board of Directors for Shattering Glass, a nonprofit organization devoted to combatting gender discrimination and fighting for gender equality and inclusion. She was a recipient of the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Sam Howard Empowerment Fund for emerging leaders of color in the nonprofit sector. She has published articles on Yes! Media. She holds a JD from New York University School of Law, a BA from Harvard College, and an AAS from Johnson & Wales University.

What is your hidden talent?

I have an insanely fine-tuned sense of when cooking timers are going to go off. This is no doubt because of time I've spent in commercial kitchens. If I am in another room, my internal alert typically goes off within about 90 seconds of a timer beeping.

What punctuation mark would you be and why?

I love the em dash. It is underutilized (well, not in my writing) and allows you to elaborate without cutting off your thoughts.

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

I try to be as open-minded as possible about grammar, because no one is perfect. Having said that, I do notice that people assume "I' is always correct over "me." I don't mind this so much in normal conversation, but it does bother me when a character on TV who is supposed to be a journalist or some other kind of writer mixes this up. Doesn't seem very credible.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

The best way to spend a weekend day is with a good book in hand and a nice, home-cooked meal accompanied by some (usually natural) wine.

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