LOUISVILLE, Ky, December 10, 2020 - Louisville Urban League President/CEO Sadiqa Reynolds has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion for her work to reduce racial health and other inequities in Louisville's African American community.
The Champion award is given by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to recognize Kentucky individuals and organizations engaged in improving the health of people in their communities and/or the entire Commonwealth through policy change.
"Reynolds is an active, engaged, knowledgeable and respected voice," said Robert Slaton, a former member of the Foundation's Community Advisory Council and retired public health official who nominated Reynolds for the award. "She is regularly sought by media, health and academic organizations, and policy makers to speak about the policy changes that are needed to reverse the racism that is built into systems of justice, health care, housing, banking, education and other social determinants of health."
Slaton also noted that Reynolds' spearheading of the Norton Sports Health and Learning Complex is an example of her ability to draw community investment to an area of Louisville where residents experience the city's poorest health, economic and social determinant statistics.
"One of the things we respect most about Ms. Reynolds is her willingness to use her 'insider' status to credibly and clearly articulate the ways policymakers have failed and are failing to protect the health and lives of Black Kentuckians," wrote Rich Seckel and Ben Carter, director and senior counsel, respectively, of the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, in a letter supporting her nomination for the award. "Insiders are often reluctant to imperil their insider status with hard words for people in power. ... By speaking up, Ms. Reynolds has provided Louisville with a model of what true leadership looks like during a time of multiple acute crises."
The first woman to head the Louisville Urban League, Reynolds previously served as chief for community building for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. She also serves on several boards including Fund for the Arts and the Louisville Chamber, and is a Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She was a District Judge for the 30th Judicial Court and the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court when she served as Chief Law Clerk for the late Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. Reynolds has been recognized by the Louisville Bar Association for providing pro bono hours in which she represented domestic violence victims and other disadvantaged citizens. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky.
Reynolds is now eligible for the Gil Friedell Health Policy Champion award, which comes with a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to be given to a Kentucky-based nonprofit of the winner's choice. The winner of the Friedell award will be announced later this month.
Nominations for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion Award are accepted at any time. See details on the Foundation's website here.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth