Word of the Year – Message From the CEOJanuary 3, 2019
Each year, Merriam-Webster chooses a “word of the year.” The decision is based on a sampling of “lookups” on the company’s website which are driven by usage in media and public discourse over the previous 12 months. For 2018, the “word of the year” was “justice.” A number of events spurred public interest in justice, including Michael Cohen’s sentencing, renewed momentum from the administration and Congress in criminal justice reform, and the frequent mentions of Secretary Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department.
I can appreciate the interest in justice when focused on criminal activity and prison terms. However, I would hope that some of this spike in activity is related to the public’s concern with social justice. In a world where our differences are too frequently emphasized, perhaps we are seeing increased awareness of those things that break through real and perceived barriers. Justice is something that we pursue in the face of injustice wherever we may face it.
The pursuit of justice is a core American value, rooted in the spirit and words of the Declaration of Independence. As we continue to work for communities that continue to strengthen the well-being of all of us, let us keep “justice” as not merely the word of the year for 2018, but our call to action, as well, for 2019 and beyond.
Lee Sherman, President & CEO