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Emerson Fellow

Amira Iwuala

28th Class, 2021-2022

Amira is a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, where her lived experience shaped her passion in public health and social justice. She attended Northeastern University where she received her BS in health sciences with a minor in global health and Masters of Public Health. Amira first became interested in food justice during her undergraduate years when she volunteered at a local community center and taught nutrition lessons to low-income residents in Roxbury and provided food vouchers for families. Following this, she was a fellow in the Getting to Zero Health Initiative, AIDS Action where she worked in promoting community engagement in legislation that targets improving the access to comprehensive health education in marginalized populations. She plans to employ her experience in health policy, advocacy, and program planning to work on anti-poverty and anti-hunger initiatives that ameliorates health outcomes in minority and low-income communities.

Field placement: Community Farm Alliance

Berea, Kentucky

Amira completed her field work at the Community Farm Alliance in Berea, Kentucky. Her research focused on quantifying the health and economic impacts of Kentucky Double Dollars (KDD), a pilot program that incentivizes healthy, local food access and supports equitable economic growth in Kentucky. Amira's work supported funding efforts for KDD and established the necessary research capacity for ongoing quality data collection.

Policy placement: Center for Law and Social Policy

Washington, D.C.

Amira Iwuala is working with Center for Law and Social Policy on the Income and Work Supports team to further their work in promoting economic opportunity from the perspective of those with lived experiences of poverty. She will be supporting their evolving Community-Driven Policy and Practice project that engages anti-poverty youth and adult activists to co-create a policy agenda that explores policies that must be advanced to achieve economic justice. She will also be assisting with documenting the process and lessons learned in order to develop training and technical assistance modules for peer community-based organizations.

Special thanks to The Kroger Co. Foundation for their support of Amira's Emerson National Hunger Fellowship.

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