University Park, IL,
01:35 AM

Phyllis West, Ph.D., MPH, M.S.W.


Social Justice, Social Work and International Service Learning Expert

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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

Recent relevant works:

Decoding the language of the unheard

Dr. West is available to talk about addressing the needs of the mind, body, and spirit from a social work and public health lens as well as any of the areas mentioned above. If you would like to arrange an interview with Dr. West, please contact Zion Banks, Media & External Relations, 708.235.7685 or