The New York Academy of Medicine Honors Doug E. Fresh & Dr. Olajide Williams

Hip Hop and Science hit a major health equity milestone as The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) honored our founders, Dr. Olajide Williams and Doug E. Fresh, with the Rising Leaders Award for their transformative use of music, art and science to deliver positive health behavior change during NYAM’s Access Health Gala Celebrating 175 Years of Advancing Health Equity on June 7th, 2022. 

From “Hip Hop Stroke” to “20 Seconds or More,” our visionary leaders have been laser focused on achieving health equity in communities of color by improving health literacy among young people and helping them to be conduits of health behavior change within their families and communities. This historic recognition from NYAM highlights the progress Hip Hop Public Health has made since its inception more than 15 years ago. 

“It is true that we have come a long way, and it is equally true that there is still a very long way to go,” said Dr. Olajide Williams during his acceptance speech. “To accept this award is deeply humbling. To accept it from an organization that evolved so much that it now leads the charge against its founding conditions, is an honor. Thank you for choosing Hip Hop Public Health on this momentous day of your history. To all the marginalized children that we serve, this honor belongs to them.”

NYAM’s 175th Anniversary Gala brought together some of the leading voices in public health and social justice including Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, who was also presented with the 2022 Health Equity Champion Award by Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. NYAM President Dr. Judith A. Salerno was also recognized for her bold vision and steadfast commitment to changing inequitable systems and achieving health equity. As part of the 175th milestone anniversary celebration, New York City Mayor Eric Adams recognized the day as a Day of Equity and presented a proclamation to NYAM.

And of course, we brought the party – Doug E. Fresh, along with DJ FLO, added some flavor to the historic evening by hitting the stage for an unforgettable performance that had the crowd jammin and on their feet.

Behind The Scenes

Enjoy some of the behind the scenes photographs during this historic night.

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