University News

WIU Receives APHA Award For 2023

September 14, 2023

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University was recently recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) with a Student Champions for Climate Justice Award.

Damilola Oluwemimo, Vivian Unachukwu, Oluwafemi Yekinni, Victor Kehinde and Christianah Diyaolu, all of Nigeria, and all WIU Public Health graduate students, wrote a proposal under the supervision of graduate student advisor Maureen Bezold for the Climate Justice and Health Equity Award.

"We leveraged the recent record-breaking heat waves that have soared globally, which were caused by climate change, and planned to create awareness about how it's affecting the health of vulnerable populations and driving inequalities," Oluwemimo said.

WIU was presented with an award for its dedication to health equity and efforts to advance climate solutions.

The award was given by APHA's Center for Climate, Health & Equity, which strives to promote the connection between climate and health. The Center applies a health equity lens to climate policy, engagement and action to address the needs of all communities, regardless of age, geography, race, income, gender and more. It is crucial to raise awareness of the health equity impacts of climate change among academic communities to inspire the next generation of public health leaders.

The award is $500, which will cover expenses for the proposed Academic Community Experience.

This academic experience aims to create awareness of the health effects of climate change on the vulnerable population in Macomb and propose mitigation and adaptation solutions.

The project will be spread across three days with lots of fun, interactive and educational activities:

  • Day 1- Walk for climate justice

  • Day 2- Panel discussion on climate and health equity

  • Day 3 - Signing an advocacy document on climate justice

"This policy advocacy document intends to get 1,000 signatures that would then be presented to the Macomb Mayor and forwarded to the office of Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative of Illinois," Unachukwu said.

For more information on APHA, visit

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing