Julia Johnson, 2013 alum of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, was recently honored by the University of Wisconsin System as a recipient of the 2018 Dr. P.B. Poorman award.
The UW System and the LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Initiative established the annual Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People in 2008, honoring the memory of Dr. Poorman and recognizing UW System faculty, staff, and students for excellence in their advocacy, research, and/or service efforts on behalf of LGBTQ+ communities.
As both a student and alum, Johnson worked relentlessly for and achieved positive changes that transformed the experiences of LGBTQ+ students on campus. As a student, they successfully advocated for the creation and implementation of the Gender Equity Resource Center (GERC), where they worked for the rest of their undergraduate career. Johnson was also instrumental in developing and delivering programs for students, staff, and faculty. Their thesis focused on creating safer Safe Zone Training, and they presented their research on this topic at both the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference and the United Council of Wisconsin Students.
Johnson also volunteered with The Alliance student organization as president. They founded the LGBTQ+ community group Prism in 2015 to provide safe and accessible programs, support, and social events for the LGBTQ+ community in the greater Northland area. Through their professional job, they provide referrals and information on safer health services, psychological services, and legal support on discrimination issues for LGBTQ+ people.
Johnson teaches a class at the University of Minnesota-Duluth focused on educating doctoral medical students on LGBTQ+ communities, identities, and needs as well as present regularly as a volunteer at Together for Youth in Duluth, Minnesota.
“Julia has definitely left a legacy at UWS through their advocacy and leadership as a student! Their passion and drive has led to impactful change both at the university and within our Superior-Duluth community,” said Jerel Benton, UWS director of equity, diversity and inclusion. “We are fortunate to have Julia as an alum and as amazing community leader.”