Education was a priority in the Martin household, and Martin-Carrington excelled at Avery High School (then a private school for black students), graduated early, and went to college before joining the Army; with the Avery High School Class of 1947
Johanna Martin-Carrington’s campaign photo for her run for Compton City Council in 1976
At the Jenkins Institute for Children in North Charleston, where she served as executive director for more than a decade
Martin-Carrington with her fellow 1947 debutantes from Avery, Burke, and Immaculate Conception high schools.
Martin-Carrington in the Army in 1950
Johanna and husband James Carrington (top), who became Compton’s chief of police, were leaders in numerous civic and church endeavors.
Martin-Carrington being sworn in to the LA Commission on Human Resources
Martin-Carrington celebrating the First Methodist Centennial with Compton Mayor Chester Crain (seated) in 1968
Martin-Carrington with Mary Tyler Moore at the Compton Council on Human Relations Brotherhood Awards in 1965
A proud mom with her six children (left to right) Ralph, Stanley, Darryl, Adrian, Jami, and Gerald
Building on History: During her decade as director of Jenkins Institute, Martin-Carrington worked to further the legacy of Reverend Jenkins by creating programs to support teen mothers and other children.
The renowned Jenkins Orphanage Band performed throughout the United States and even toured Europe in the 1920s.
Martin-Carrington also oversaw the historic preservation of one of the original Jenkins buildings to house the forthcoming Daniel Joseph Jenkins Cultural and Genealogical Center.
The Grower: Martin-Carrington’s nurturing expertise extends to her garden. “She took cuttings from my wedding bouquet and somehow made them grow into plants,” says her granddaughter Ashley Meader. “She puts her hands into the dirt, and something different happens. There’s a magic and energy about her that literally starts from the ground up. People are drawn to her, and plants too!”
Martin-Carrington prioritizes time with her large family, in addition to her various community roles and passions. With her son Stanley and four of her 16 grandchildren in Dallas (2016)
Volunteering with Boeing’s Day of Caring team in 2010
With Mayor Tecklenburg, Anne Cleveland, and musician Tuffus Zimbabwe (great-grandson of the Reverend Daniel Jenkins and keyboardist for the Saturday Night Live band) at the Jazz for Jenkins concert (2018)
Celebrating the opening of the American College of the Building Art’s Meeting Street campus (2016)
Her 79th birthday with her older brother (seated, front row) and her family
Her retirement as director of Jenkins Institute (2016)
Team Work: Martin-Carrington (center) with her WE BUILD Foundation team—(left to right) Cheryl Wright, Gina Iakovelli, Julie Hussey, Jessica Dye, Gwen Watt, April Magill, Shakeima Chatman, Marie Elana Rowland, Lisa Pansing, and Carmelle Scott—on the site of their first project
WE BUILD plans to break ground soon on one of four lots in Union Heights donated by Rev. Edwin McClain. The homes, designed by architect April Magill of Root Down Designs, will be constructed out of renewable materials and are designed to be energy-efficient and low-maintenance with a low life-cycle cost.
With April Magill and Rev. Edwin McClain
Home Again: When she returned to Charleston from the West Coast, Martin-Carrington could have moved into an upscale neighborhood, but bought a house near her mother (who has since died) and not far from where she grew up. “This is my home; it’s where I want to create new opportunities and contribute,” she says.
After a barrier-breaking career, North Charleston’s indomitable Johanna Martin-Carrington is still breaking new ground, this time with an innovative plan for affordable housing in Union Heights