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HMP Alum A’Keisha Lee Takes on New Role as Community Organizer at Chicago-Based 'SOUL'


Saint Louis University alumnus A’Keisha Lee (M.P.H.-HMP ’19) has been heading towards community organizing work for a long time. Lee’s journey has yielded a new job as a community organizer at SOUL (Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation), based in Chicago.

As an organizer for SOUL, Lee completes a variety of activities, including researching policies, talking to people in the community, writing press releases and organizing protests. 

A'Keisha Lee
A'Keisha Lee

At SLU, Lee developed her skills in public health and advocacy through her work as an advocate with the YWCA program for victims of sexual assault. Lee says that her work canvassing for Medicaid expansion prepared her for going door-to-door, which is something she now has to do for work at times. Lee developed her passion for justice further during an internship with the St. Louis-based community development non-profit Better Family Life.

Reflecting on her time at SLU, Lee credits Dr. Rhonda BeLue for making a significant impact with a very individualized approach to mentorship. Lee also praised Dr. Stephen McMillan, one of her favorite professors in the School of Social Work, for his “wonderful style.” Lee advises current SLU students to look for opportunities, including ones “outside of traditional health care.” 

College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.