Current Leader

Nettye Johnson

Nettye Johnson
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Cohort Start Year: 2020 Project Topics: Arts in Health and Healing, Behavioral and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Education, Faith/Religion, Food Systems and Nutrition, Obesity, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Adults (21-64 years), African-American/Black, Children and Families, Faith-Based Groups, Low-Income Communities, Older Adults (65+), Women's Health
Education for Transformation


When white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia. It is a common saying in the Black community based in reality. While health outcomes for African Americans have improved in recent years, much more needs to be done. Recent CDC reporting indicates African Americans are more likely to die at early ages from all causes.

Efforts to address these disparities often focus on the social determinants of health. They center around economics, education, access, and awareness barriers, adopting an “if we build it, they will come” approach. Data shows increases in education and resources do not create substantial health outcome improvements. Health disparities in the African-American community persist across education and income levels, and programming designed to improve African-American health often suffers from poor engagement and limited long-term efficacy.

Generations of oppression have internalized and normalized inferior health outcomes in African-American culture. Health is not fully understood or pursued. Nettye’s vision of a Culture of Health is one where every person understands and values health, and has the expectation and ability to live in good health.

To effectively address African-American health disparities, Nettye envisions a holistic, salutogenic approach to building a culture of health that truly reflects and supports her community. Nettye advocates for connection to culturally appropriate health education and resources, as well as reconnection to ancestral wisdom and health practices. She also believes in the amplification of individual and community assets and abilities to support good health. As a woman of faith, Nettye incorporates Christian education in her work to guide and empower others in healthy living and legacy.


Nettye is a wife, mom, marathoner, health educator, veganish foodie, author, and award-winning speaker and trainer with 20 years of experience working with individuals, congregations, and communities to improve African-American health disparities. Nettye wholeheartedly believes without knowledge people perish, and apart from God, we can do nothing. She is passionate about bridging the gap between people and needed information and resources. Her wellness organization Education for Transformation provides curated science-based, faith-empowered health education, programs, and coaching solutions.





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