Home » Advocacy Awards » 2023 Advocacy Awards » Hip Hop Public Health


The MEETING THE MOMENT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AWARD recognizes an individual or organization that has been a “clear voice,” playing a key role in communicating important public health information to the public. This award is part of the suite of Outstanding Achievement in Public Health Awards, generously supported by Johnson & Johnson.

Through Hip Hop Public Health‘s pioneering Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model, youth develop essential health literacy knowledge and skills, and serve as intergenerational advocates for themselves, their families and their communities. They harness the transformative power of music, art, culture, and science to deepen health literacy and inspire positive health choices for young people and their families in communities of color.


Lori Rose Benson
Executive Director & CEO

With over twenty-five years’ experience in public health and education, Lori Rose Benson is the CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. Lori’s leads a unique, transdisciplinary team of artists, educators, and public health experts to create culturally tailored, evidence-based multimedia health promotion and disease prevention resources.

Earlier in her career, Lori proudly served as the inaugural Executive Director of the NYC Department of Education’s Office of School Wellness Programs serving 1.1 million students in 1,700 public schools, and Vice President of Healthy Lifestyles for the YMCA of Greater New York, spearheading health innovation and chronic disease prevention programs to meet diverse community needs.

Lori is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health concentrating in health equity and social justice, and an Adelphi University Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences.

Doug E. Fresh
Founding Artist & Honorary Board Member

Harlem born, but internationally known on the microphone as the Original Human Beatbox and a hip hop icon, Barbadian-American rapper Doug E. Fresh, born Douglas Davis, has amassed countless awards for his mesmerizing beatbox abilities, catchy rhymes, signature dance moves, and masterful command of audiences. His popularity spans generations. Nearly a dozen millennial rappers have written songs in tribute to Fresh, most notably the 2009 breakout hit Teach Me How to Dougie,” which spawned the international “Dougie” dance craze, a nod to moves Fresh created in the 80s. 

Fresh’s peers have dubbed him “The World’s Greatest Entertainer,” for his unrivaled ability to electrify any crowd, of any age, race or gender, night after night. Pre-pandemic, Fresh averaged 200 live performances per year for 20 straight years – a rare feat for an any artist, especially one whose career has remained active for nearly four decades, thanks, in part, to his cultural classics, “The Show,” and, “La Di Da Di,” both released in the mid 1980’s, when he was a teen, as duets with fellow rap legend Slick Rick. To date, “La Di Da Di” holds the unique honor as one of the top five most sampled songs of all time. 

On and off the road, Fresh is a lifelong activist, with a proven commitment to using his talents and resources to unite and inspire social justice. He is the founding artist and honorary board member of Hip Hop Public Health.

After these past two years of unthinkable tumult and tragedy, Fresh seeks to sonically transport people to happier times and unite hip-hop and go-go audiences with his newest full-length album, This One’s For Chuck Brown.”  Ever reverent to those who have inspired him and ever ready to use his art to uplift, educate, and ignite positive change, Doug continues to be an ever so Fresh breath of air.

Dr. Olajide Williams
Founder and Board Chair

Dr. Olajide Williams obtained his medical degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. He is currently a tenured Professor of Neurology, Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology, and Associate Dean of Community Research and Engagement at Columbia University. He is a global leader in racial health disparities, Principal Investigator of multiple NIH investigator-initiated awards, and a co-Chair of Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Anti-Racism Task Force. Author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, Dr Williams has received many prestigious awards including the European Stroke Research Foundation Investigator of the Year award, Columbia University Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, a National Humanism in Medicine award from the AAMC, American Heart Association Trailblazer award, Fast Company Most Creative 100 list, and has been a regular feature of the annual New York Magazine Best Doctors lists. He is Founder and President of Hip Hop Public Health.

Learn about Hip Hop Public Health.