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Community Leader Dr. Ben Danielson To Deliver Antioch University Seattle Commencement Address

Advocate for Underserved Children and Their Families to Serve as Keynote Speaker at In-Person Commencement Ceremony

Antioch University Seattle is honored to announce that Dr. Ben Danielson will deliver the commencement address at the first in-person ceremony in two years on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at Magnuson Park. Dr. Danielson has devoted his career to increasing access to healthcare and fighting against racial inequities. He is a clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. For two decades, he was the medical director at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, which serves mostly low-income families in a historically Black community. He resigned in late 2020 in protest of racism and related dysfunctions at the clinic’s overseeing entity: Seattle Children’s Hospital. The unifying thread in Dr. Danielson’s activities relates to promoting well-being and dignity, especially for communities that have been pushed aside.

“Dr. Danielson is a tireless and effective champion for health equity and change,” said Dr. Ben Pryor, CEO of Antioch University Seattle. “Throughout his time as a pediatrician, he has created and developed diversity programs that align with the core values of our institution, and we are honored that he will join us to celebrate our graduating class of 2022.”

Dr. Danielson now leads a program to tackle youth incarceration by promoting paths to opportunity for young people, especially among youth of color, within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The mission of the program, Allies in Healthier Systems for Health & Abundance in Youth (AHSHAY), is to end youth incarceration in Washington state by 2030 and to promote paths to opportunity that are youth-centered, community-informed, and evidence-based, with a focus on communities historically most impacted by youth incarceration. The center will promote solutions, including new programs and policy changes centered on the health and well-being of children and youth while considering the overall well-being of families and communities.

He also serves on various boards of health-related organizations, philanthropic organizations, and community groups dedicated to health issues. He chairs the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities, co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force on creating an Office of Equity, chairs the Group Health Foundation Board, and co-chairs King County’s Racism Is A Public Health Crisis Team. He has been on many boards and currently serves in this capacity on the Seattle YWCA, the Seattle Foundation, Center for Children and Youth Justice, and Amara. He has been active in the public health and healthcare governance realm.

Antioch’s commencement ceremony will honor 135 graduates. Members of 2022 class will receive doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology and Counselor Education and Supervision, master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Couples & Family Therapy, Education, and Teaching; and bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Studies and Health Counseling & Psychology.

The ceremony will be held at the Magnuson Park Hangar at 2:00pm PT and will be streamed live at news.antioch.edu/aus-commencement.

Karen Hamilton ’17 (Antioch Los Angeles, MA) is Antioch's Director of Marketing for Content and Communications. She has used her storytelling and copywriting skills for more than twenty years, crafting articles and creating publications. She believes that communication is a powerful driver for social change.

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