Charita Johnson was born in Hartford, Connecticut. She was raised by a single mother as the youngest of three children. Charita was always determined to exhibit the strength of her mom as the foundation for everything she accomplished. This goal made her a pioneer and the first in her family to experience and accomplish many things.
As an adventurous and curious child she became an early and avid reader. Her mom fed her thirst for learning by insuring that she was getting the best early childhood education that was available. Overcoming challenges and adaptation were also part of her early development and become an essential part of her fabric. As a learner she also became a teacher to those around her. Her leadership skills and style were being developed in childhood.
As a high school freshman Charita was selected to be an exchange student to Ibaraki High in Osaka, Japan. Learning Japanese and visiting Japan was her deepest immersion into different cultures. Exposure to international travel and cultural immersion began shaping her perspective of the world.
Prior to joining ESPN, Johnson worked at CNN on Sports Tonight show until 1989. Her earlier experience includes local stations in both Lansing, Michigan, and West Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1994 she met her husband Richard Johnson and they were married in 1995. Together they have built the most amazing partnership. One built on the foundation of friendship, respect and love.
Charita’s longest tenure in the television broadcast industry was at ESPN. Her passion for communications and leadership was exhibited in her career choice. During her time at ESPN is where Charita met Cheryl Grace. The two worked together in production between 1997-2000. There they formed a deep relationship that would span twenty years. Her professional contribution to ESPN was a successful 26-year career. When Charita left the company she was an executive leader in production. Her skills in storytelling, production and content development were ranked as high as her passion for mentorship and teaching others.
In 2007, Charita made a trip to South Africa. It was a life changing experience. The journey was on her bucket list but the experience was much more personal. The connection with the people, the sites and culture were forever blazed in her heart and mind. She knew it would all come full circle but she was uncertain of how and when.
In 2015 after Cheryl’s trip to South Africa, she started the Legacy of Grace foundation. This was another experience that both she and Charita shared as a common passion. Cheryl shared the great work that was planned for Legacy of Grace and Charita was immediately interested in helping the foundation achieve their goals of providing resources and education to children in the Zulu village in the Drakensburg mountains of South Africa. Because of Charita’s commitment, passion and hard work she has been appointed Managing Director at Legacy of Grace.