Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award

Josie Robinson Johnson

20th Annual Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award

General Information

The Josie R. Johnson Award was established in honor of Dr. Josie R. Johnson in recognition of her lifelong contributions to human rights and social justice, which guided her work with the civil rights movement, years of community service, and tenure at the University of Minnesota. The award honors University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students who, through their principles and practices, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments. Learn more about past award recipients.


Nomination Guidelines

Both nominees and their nominators must be current faculty, staff, or students at the University. Student nominees must be current students in good academic standing and registered at the University of Minnesota during the semester of nomination. Self-nominations are not accepted.

The awards will be presented at the annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast in November 2017.

Nominations are due to the Office for Equity and Diversity by 4:30 pm on Friday, September 22, 2017.  To nominate an individual for the Josie R. Johnson Award, the following items must be submitted using the online application below:

  1. A letter of nomination;
  2. The nominee’s current résumé or curriculum vitae;
  3. A personal statement from the nominee reflecting on their values and personal commitment to human rights and social justice;
  4. Three letters of support documenting the nominee’s contributions to human rights and social justice.


Nomination Information

Most favorable consideration will be given to faculty and staff who perform their human rights and social justice work over and above their daily work at the University of Minnesota.  The letter of nomination and the letters of support should keep in mind the following selection criteria.

  • Increasing educational or employment opportunities for individuals from underrepresented communities.
  • Producing or presenting scholarly work, which significantly improves others’ understanding of the complex dynamics of difference in its various manifestations and multiple dimensions.
  • Advocating for policy or procedural change designed to improve the learning and working environments for individuals from underrepresented communities.
  • Developing and implementing initiatives that support individuals from underrepresented communities to develop skills, obtain knowledge, and establish support networks that are essential to promoting an inclusive community.
  • Promoting the advancement of human rights and social justice through involvement on campus and/or in the external community.
  • Demonstrating an ability and ongoing commitment to preparing and empowering others as effective advocates for social equality.
  • Possessing an admirable strength of character that inspires others to continue personal development in the area of human rights and social justice.

Note: The above list provides examples of work that the committee will be looking for as it reviews nominations, but it is by no means an exhaustive list of possible avenues of service.

Nomination materials must be submitted by 4:30 pm on Friday, September 22, 2017.

  • Application process is CLOSED

Please direct questions regarding the nominations process to:

Barbara Chapin