Promoting Health Equity

Advancing Health Equity Through Civic Engagement

The National Civic League believes that to achieve health equity we must understand the challenges, aspirations, barriers and realities of the community. To share the example of innovative approaches to equity and shine a light on leaders across this country, the League partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Civic League recognized individuals who are making health equity a reality in their community. For seven years, the League’s Health Equity Award recognized individuals who were leveraging engagement to improve health outcomes for those most impacted by health disparities.

In addition to national recognition at the National Civic League’s annual All-American City Award and an invitation to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s yearly Health Equity Award annual learning and recognition event, the winners received a $3,000 honorarium.

About the Award

The RWJF-National Civic League Health Equity Award recognized and honored individuals that successfully implemented a systems change approach to improve health outcomes for those most impacted by health disparities.

Past winners demonstrated the following:

  • Efforts that advance the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision for building a Culture of Health and achieving health equity
  • Demonstrated success in changing systems that impact health outcomes in one or more of the following areas: access to quality care, education, employment, income, community environment, housing, and public safety
  • Targeted efforts that improve outcomes for groups most affected by health disparities
  • Successful implementation of a systems change approach to reduce health disparities within the past two years
  • Ongoing, and authentic community engagement.

Learn more about what National Civic League means by engagement


  • 2016 Winners – Thelma Craig and Dr. Terri Richardson (Colorado Black Health Collaborative)
  • 2017 Winners – Elizabeth Bustos and Rev. Gerald Brown
  • 2018 Winners – Angela Bannerman Ankoma and Sharon Conard Wells (Sankofa Community Initiative)
  • 2019 Winner – Dr. Shreya Kangovi (Penn Center for Community Health Workers)
  • 2020 Winner – Dr. Tsu-Yin Wu (Eastern Michigan University Center for Health Disparities Innovation and Studies)
  • 2021 Winner – Melissa Robinson, Black Health Care Coalition
  • 2022 Winner – Alma C. Stewart, RN, MS, CCHC

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Thank You to Our Key Partners