NYFA Welcomes Diversity Chair Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson

April 19, 2017

The Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has a new Chair of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson. Nancy is responsible for formulating NYFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and its Diversity Strategic Plan, creating multicultural programming, and spearheading strategic partnerships for faculty, students, and staff.

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Nancy brings two decades of experience as an educator, higher education administrator, and consultant to the role of Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Most notably, Nancy was invited to the first Korean American Briefing at the White House (2012). She received the “President’s Excellence in Diversity” award at Western Illinois University. Nancy attended Vassar, and has an MPA, MA, and PhD (in Government) from Cornell.

As a multiracial female (her mother is Korean, her father is African-American, and her paternal great grandmother is full-blooded Cherokee), Nancy is no stranger to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a polyglot, Nancy speaks Korean and English (her mother tongues), basic Albanian and Wolof, and has taught International Relations in French.

With expertise in Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora Studies, Nancy has lived in South Korea, France, Senegal, Canada, Albania, and Serbia. In North America, Nancy has taught at the New School, Texas Tech, Temple, Colgate, Washington University, Yale, Western Illinois University, Georgetown, University of Windsor, and the University of Ottawa.

The Dean of the College organized a series of “meet and greets” in Barham and Riverside so that NYFA students could become acquainted with NYFA’s incoming Chief Diversity Officer. At Barham, Nancy engaged in a listening tour comprised of thirty-five students and provided a silhouette of her strategic vision for diversity, equity and inclusion. The students expressed their enthusiasm for the inclusive and diaspora-informed nature of upcoming events such as “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team,” and news of the partnership Nancy recently forged with East West Players Theatre.

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At Riverside, NYFA students Amjad Tkroni and Hanan Higgi (active in clubs and organizations) were eager to recruit their fellow students. When asked how they felt about Nancy the girls broke into giggles, “She’s so cute. She’s able to say exactly what her vision for the future is in one sentence. Plus she has so many great events coming up.” The girls were particularly excited for the Second Line Festival (May 5th) – an International Dance Festival showcasing hip hop, West African, Indian, and Russian choreography of the NYFA Dance Troupe.

For her part, Nancy had this to say about meeting her new students:

“I was so humbled by the fact that the Dean of the College wanted to have a ‘meet and greet’ in my honor. On this end, I was truly inspired by my town hall-like dialogue with the students, and definitely learned a lot about their innate desire to have truly diverse, equitable and inclusive events across campus. In this regard, I am forever indebted to President Michael Young and NYFA leadership for accepting my pitch to re-brand the Department to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our new brand, I believe, reflects the world we live in today. We are NYFA.”

The New York Film Academy is proud to count Dr. Johnson amongst their ranks and looks forward to the NYFA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, the NYFA Diversity Strategic Plan, multicultural programming and Strategic Diversity Initiatives to be formulated and implemented to create a sense of belongingness and community for NYFA faculty, students, and staff. Be sure not to miss out on these amazing opportunities coming soon.


April 10th (7:30-9:00 p.m.) — NYFA Burbank’s 1st Open Mic Night.

Our hostess for the evening will be Aida Rodriguez (recently featured in Robert De Niro’s latest film, “The Comedian”). Aida was also a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and will be appearing as the first Latina in Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam.

April 24th       Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series (TBA)

May 2nd         “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team”

May 5th          Second Line Festival: An International Celebration of Diversity