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Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD, Wins RWJF Young Leader Award

Dr. Naa Oyo A. Kwate , Associate Professor of Human Ecology and Africana Studies and the Institute for Health, was among the 10 winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) first-ever Young Leader Awards. Established during the RWJF’s 40th anniversary the award recognizes leaders early in their career for exceptional contributions to improving the health of the nation. The awards also signal the winners’ strong potential for future leadership. Recipients received an award of $40,000.

Dr. Kwate video-documents urban neighborhoods with startling comprehensiveness and originality to capture and analyze the ubiquity of racist symptoms and messaging. Lately she has begun to talk back to the urban environment via billboard messages that lay bare -and hopefully defuse- racism’s destructiveness to human health.

RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD noted “… these impressive men and women … started doing amazing things that can potentially improve the health of all Americans. We're proud to acknowledge their early success, and inspired by the potential they have to improve U.S. health and health care."




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