Congratulations to Family and Consumer Sciences’ Whitney Gherman, a recipient of the 2021 Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. award for Health Equity and Awareness. The Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission presents awards annually in categories for Ohioans' efforts to keep Dr. King's dream alive and advance his philosophy of nonviolent social change.
Gherman, an OSU Marion County Extension educator, is one of seven Ohioans and one organization that was recognized by the Holiday Commission during its 36th annual Commemorative Celebration for their work to serve others and lift the oppressed in communities across Ohio.
“As governor, I believe that we must keep the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King of equality, unity, and justice at the forefront of everything we do,” said Governor Mike DeWine “It is a privilege to recognize the outstanding service and achievements of Ohioans whose deeds and actions are consistent with Dr. King’s teachings of non-violent social and economic change.”
The 12-member commission advocates Dr. King’s principles of nonviolent change and the pursuit of racial, social and economic justice, and annually presents the awards in January leading up to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
The recipient of the Health Equity and Awareness award offers exemplary community outreach and educational programs that serve an underserved population in the state. These services increase the accessibility of health care for the under-served while providing a high quality of customer service.
“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” Gherman said. “I strive to help bring racism to the forefront as a public health issue, and work to build community-led programming on food insecurity, racial and housing justice, and facilitating land-based projects with Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color.”
The ceremony can be viewed at ohiochannel.org (Whitney’s award at 37:00 minutes). In addition, Marion County partnerships received the Cultural Awareness, Educational Excellence and Community Building Awards, which Whitney was connected as well.
Award recipients include (links include recipient information and award category):
- Health Equity and Awareness Award - Whitney Gherman of Marion
- Educational Excellence Award - Candace Floyd of Marion
- Youth: Capturing the Vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award - Klarke Griffith of Cincinnati
- Community Building Award - Johnnie Jackson of Marion
- Cultural Awareness Award – The Marion Voices Folklife and Oral History Program
- Governor’s Humanitarian Award – Doni Miller of Toledo
- Economic Opportunity Award - Sheryl Rajbhandari of Cincinnati
- Social Justice Award – Katherine Yoder of Bexley
The Ohio Department of Administrative Services provides administrative support to the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences help people improve their lives and strengthen their communities. It serves thousands of people throughout Ohio every year, delivering high quality education programs developed from evidence-based research that focuses on building healthy people, healthy finances and healthy relationships.