An LGBTQIA + Conversation

Lori Rose Benson

With over twenty-five years’ experience in public health andeducation, Lori Rose Benson joined Hip Hop Public Health in 2017 as theorganization’s inaugural Executive Director and CEO.  Her experience indeveloping and scaling innovative health, fitness and wellness programs isprecisely aligned with HHPH’s vision to empower youth around the globe with theknowledge and skills to make healthier choices, reducing preventable healthconditions and the rising tide of childhood obesity. Before joining HHPH, Loriserved as Vice President of Healthy Lifestyles at the YMCA of Greater New York,spearheading all aspects of the preventative health and wellness portfolio forthe largest YMCA in the United States with a key focus on health innovation,development of youth fitness programming and scaling chronic disease preventionprograms to meet the diverse needs of New York City's communities.  Loriwas the principal architect of the award winning Y-MVP Teen Fitness Challenge –an innovative program blending fun fitness activities with an interactivemobile app designed to recognize, reward and motivate NYC's young people toincrease their daily levels of Moderate to Vigorous Physical activity. Prior tojoining the Y in 2011, Lori served as the Executive Director of the Office ofSchool Wellness Programs at New York City’s Department of Education,established under the Bloomberg administration in collaboration with NYC’sHealth Department. She implemented policies and designed initiatives toincrease the quality and quantity of physical and health education for 1.1million students in 1,700 public schools. Highlights under Lori’s tenureinclude the creation of a city-wide sports and fitness league for hundreds ofmiddle schools, introducing elementary classroom-based physical activitycurriculum, launching school wellness council grant programs, supporting acity-wide team of Adaptive Physical Education teachers, establishing monthlyprofessional development opportunities for 3,000+ educators and administratorsand spearheading the implementation of NYC FITNESSGRAM, an annual studentfitness assessment, which is now one of the country’s largest web-basedlongitudinal data base on childhood obesity and physical fitness. Raised inBrooklyn, Lori attended New York City’s public schools and earned a B.A. fromthe University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Communications and Graphic Design,and a M.A. in Physical Education from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY,where she is currently an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of ExerciseScience, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport. Lori personally embracesphysical activity and her love of music into her daily life as a yogaenthusiast, an aspiring DJ, and a spinning instructor who still teaches weeklycycling classes at Crunch Fitness in Brooklyn.

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