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Human Impact Partners has named City of Evanston Director of Health and Human Services Evonda Thomas-Smith a 2017-2018 Health Equity Awakened Leadership Fellow.

During the year-long program, which runs from this month through next May, 18 Leadership Fellows from local health departments across the country will explore strategies that advance racial and social justice in public health, data-driven framing, and tools for systems change.

“I am excited to be afforded the opportunity to take a deep dive into my personal leadership development, and shape racial and social justice strategies for public health, using inside-outside strategies to advance health equity in Evanston,” said Ms. Thomas-Smith.

In its announcement, the organization stated that after centuries of persistent racial health inequities, more local health departments are identifying health equity as a priority. HIP identified the need for public health leadership to commit fully and explicitly to racial and social justice. To be successful, these leaders must focus deeply on both individual leadership development and organizational trans-formation.