Pro-Change’s Co-President and CEO, Dr. Sara Johnson, was honored that her recent editorialEquity, Justice, and the Role of the Health Promotion Profession in Dismantling Systemic Racism,” was named “Paper of the Year” by the American Journal of Health Promotion.

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. — Dr. Martin Luther King

In the editorial, Johnson tackles the complex issue of addressing systemic racism. She examines a variety of issues including the racism BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) face in their places of work, the growing income inequality that disproportionately affects black and brown communities, and how the COVID-19 crisis has compounded those issues. Recognizing that racism is a public health issue, Johnson outlines some preliminary steps individuals and organizations can take to be true allies and to continually strive to be anti-racist. Like many other organizations, Pro-Change is making a concerted effort to make progress on its anti-racist journey. 

As Johnson wrote, “Together, we can create an equitable and racially just future where everyone can thrive. Now is the time.”