Humphrey-Johnson Book Prize for Inspirational Leadership and Social Change

The Humphrey-Johnson Book Prize for Inspirational Leadership and Social Change is a new initiative, in its pilot phase, to award rising seniors of participating Minnesota high schools to recognize outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement. Recipients are nominated by their school to receive a book authored by a local leader who emulates a commitment to public service and leadership in the state, building on the legacy of Hubert H. Humphrey and Dr. Josie R. Johnson. 

Recipients of this award demonstrate: 

  • Passionate Advocacy: Following Humphrey's legacy, students should show a deep commitment to public service and advocacy for underrepresented communities. 
  • Inspirational Leadership: Emulating Josie Johnson's leadership, recipients should exhibit the ability to lead with empathy, integrity, and the drive to inspire others in their pursuit of equity and justice. 
  • Dedication to Social Change: In line with the themes of Into the Bright Sunshine, written by Samuel Freedman and Johnson’s Hope in the Struggle, students should actively engage in efforts to bring about meaningful social change, showing resilience and optimism in the face of challenges. 
  • Community Engagement: Reflecting both Humphrey's and Johnson's dedication to community, recipients should demonstrate a strong connection to their communities, working collaboratively to uplift and support others. 
  • Intellectual Curiosity and Reflection: Award winners should display a commitment to understanding complex social issues, reflecting on different perspectives, and being open to continuous learning and personal growth. 

The Book Award is presented to recipients at the end of the academic year during the school's graduation or award ceremony by alumni, faculty, or staff of the Humphrey School. Recipients will receive: 

  • A copy of one of the following books 
    • Into the Bright Sunshine - Samuel G. Freedman 
    • Hope in the Struggle A Memoir - Josie R. Johnson 
  • An award certificate signed by the dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs 

Eligible Schools 

Book award nominations in for 2024 will be accepted from the following high schools: 

  • St. Paul Central High School - St. Paul 
  • North High School - Minneapolis 
  • Nawayee Center School - Minneapolis 
  • Nay Ah Shing High School - Mille Lacs 

In addition, all public high schools in the following counties are also eligible to submit a nomination:

  • Mille Lacs 
  • St. Louis 
  • Otter Tail 

Nomination Guidelines 

  • Following submission of the nomination form, a staff member from the Humphrey School will follow up with the school contact to confirm the nominee and provide next steps for ordering the book award. The cost of the book award is $30, including shipping and handling. 
  • No more than one student will be awarded from a single school per academic year.
  • Nominees must be in the 11th grade and progressing to 12th grade, to receive this award. 
  • The book will be mailed directly to the nominator at the school of the selected student.

Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.