National Spotlight

Honoring a legacy 

Englewood, CO (November 15, 2022) – CommonSpirit Health and CommonSpirit Health Foundation have recognized the Honorable Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition of his lifelong commitment to the community, equality, civil rights and social justice, we have established the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Social Justice Endowment.

Mayor Brown’s Lifetime Achievement Award was celebrated as part of the October 19, 2022 Humankindness and Health Justice Series panel forum exploring social justice as a form of health justice. The series is a partnership between the Commonwealth Club of California and the CommonSpirit Health Foundation, with October’s session generously underwritten by Genentech.

Mayor Brown was introduced by his daughter, Sydney Brown, and was joined on the panel by Emmy-nominated filmmaker and social justice advocate Dawn Porter and Janet Reilly, Co-Founder and Board President of Clinic by the Bay. Brown and Reilly are members of CommonSpirit Health Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Mayor Brown is a practicing attorney and community leader. A highly influential and well-respected public official, he served over 31 years in the California State Assembly, spending 14 and a half years as its Speaker, and afterward served as the 41st mayor of San Francisco from 1996 - 2004. A tireless advocate, Brown is the Chairman and CEO of The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, an independent, non-profit organization providing a forum for non-partisan education, debate and discussion of public policy issues to expand the expertise available to stakeholders from the political, academic, business and scientific communities.

In recognizing the civil rights and justice pioneer’s commitment and contributions, CommonSpirit Health CEO Wright L. Lassiter III commented that “Mayor Brown has spent his entire career advocating for social justice, knowing that every person deserves equal opportunity for social, economic, political and health justice.”

As part of CommonSpirt Health’s new Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness and Health Justice, the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Social Justice Endowment was unveiled at the event.  The endowment will explore every aspect of health care through a social justice lens; tackling health inequities to ensure all people, regardless of their background, can be their healthiest. The endowment will support the creation and long-term sustainability of a new position entitled the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Director of Social Justice. Following the announcement, leaders from Google stepped forward to contribute $100,000 to support the endowment’s launch.

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at

About CommonSpirit Health Foundation
CommonSpirit Health Foundation is making the promise of health equity and health justice a reality across the country — through funding pioneering programs that ensure greater access, creating community partnerships and advocating for the underserved and most vulnerable. The foundation inspires investments and donations from individuals, private foundations, corporate foundations and other entities — to support programs and initiatives that enable all people to be healthy and safe. Learn more at