HCN News & Notes

Social Justice Awards to Honor Life, Legacy of Ronn Johnson

SPRINGFIELD — Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) announced that this year’s Social Justice Awards will honor the organization’s former President and CEO Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January. The organization also announced that the Justice Resource Institute has stepped forward as the first event sponsor.

“The Social Justice Awards generated the support every year that Ronn needed to help MLKFS continue to be keepers of the dream,” said Calvin Hill, chairman of the MLKFS board of directors. “Now it is an opportunity for the community and area organizations to honor Ronn’s work and help keep that dream alive.”

The 2022 Social Justice Awards will continue to be a virtual event this year and will take place Saturday, April 23 at 11 a.m. Michael Weeks, president and CEO of the Providers Council, will be the keynote speaker. The awards will honor individuals and organizations that met, if not exceeded, King’s challenge: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”

This year’s honorees are Barbara Gresham (education), Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. (lifetime achievement), Bishop Talbert Swan II (race relations), CMSS and Eileen McCaffery (arts and culture), Doris Harris (health advocacy), First Church of Christ in Longmeadow UCC (faith-based initiative), MassHire Springfield and Kevin Lynn (economic development), and Thomas Morrow and Julius Lewis (entrepreneurship).

Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Johnson’s work at MLKFS through sponsorship or a donation should contact Lenise Williams at (413) 736-3655 or lwilliams@mlkjrfs.org, or visit mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.