Phyllis West, Ph.D., MPH, MSW

  Director, Social Justice Initiative
  708-235-2137ext. 2137
  Office Location: G394



Dr. Phyllis West is the Director of Social Justice Initiative at Governors State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Paine College and two master’s degrees (one in public health, the other in social work) from Tulane University, before earning her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Additionally, Dr. West consults in corporate and nonprofit spaces on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), organizational wellness and conflict resolution. In 2022, she was certified as a Restorative Justice practitioner.

Before joining Governors State, Dr. West served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, a clinical therapist, a social worker, and Assistant Health Officer with the Cook County Department of Public Health. A certified yoga instructor with nearly 30 years of experience in public health and social work, Dr. West is committed to self-care, redefining social justice and reducing gun violence.

Dr. West’s research focuses on:

  • Redefining social justice
  • Restorative justice
  • Mothers in the criminal justice system
  • Reducing gun violence
  • International service learning
  • Community-based social work

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