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Dr. Ngozi Ezike will give 2021 commencement Speech at Knox College

Dr. Ngozi Ezike is the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the first Black woman appointed to lead the 143-year-old agency.

GALESBURG, Ill. — Knox College announced April 13 that Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the first Black woman appointed to lead the Illinois Department of Public Health will be their 2021 Commencement Speaker. 

Knox College President Teresa Amott said Dr. Ezike has become a familiar and respected face for Illinois. 

“We are honored that she has agreed to speak at our Commencement and provide words of wisdom and perspective to the class of 2021, who are graduating in these unprecedented times,” said Amott. 

According to Knox College, Dr. Ezike is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare within juvenile detention and justice systems. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. 

She has received numerous awards, including the 2020 Lester H. McKeever Individual Service Award from the Chicago Urban League and the Health Innovator Award from Erie Family Health Center in Chicago. Chicago Magazine named her as one of 2020’s Chicagoans of the Year.