For 20 years, Lessie Williams worked for the Portland nonprofit Highland Haven. She created youth violence prevention programs and expanded access to culturally-relevant mental health services and health education for members of a coalition of largely Black Portland churches. Now she’s retired, but in August, Williams received the REACH Lark Galloway-Gilliam Award for Advancing Health Equity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We talk with Williams about her work.

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