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Every year, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies presents the Feminist Practice Award to majors and minors whose work in community service or social action best exemplifies the application of feminist thought to practice. This year’s winner is Gender & Health minor Amani Echols, with Gender, Race, and Nation minor Julia Whang receiving an honorable mention.
Amani Echols will graduate in May with a major in Community and Global Public Health major and a minor in Gender & Health. Throughout her time at Michigan, Amani has been actively engaged in efforts to reduce health inequities across racial, economic, and gender barriers. As program coordinator of the Dial-a-Doula program at Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, Amani organized an initiative to provide reduced-cost doula training to people of color and low income individuals. She founded and served as co-chair of the Health Equity High School Summit, which provided nearly 200 students with the opportunity to learn about health systems and policies to better understand how social identities affect experiences of health. Amani has also completed independent research on rates of breastfeeding among black women and has written in favor of more comprehensive sexuality education programs in American schools.
In the future, Amani plans to pursue a career dedicated to advancing reproductive health policy and hopes to augment women of color’s voices in conversations about healthcare.
A Political Science major with a minor in Gender, Race, and Nation, junior Julia Whang worked as an intern for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos in summer 2018. During her time in Washington, Julia assisted legislative staff with contacting Fortune 100 Companies to ask that they consider adopting new policies for addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Her work sought to make a tangible difference for workers at some of the largest companies in the world, and two companies promised to change their sexual harassment policies in accordance with her team’s suggestions.