Minnesota News

Time magazine names U of M professor to list of most influential people in the world

University of Minnesota professor Rachel Hardeman
Rachel Hardeman is the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, which she founded in 2021.
Courtesy Jenn Ackerman

A University of Minnesota professor has been named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2024.

Rachel Hardeman is the director of the U’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, which she founded in 2021.

Time announced its list Wednesday, naming Hardeman among the world’s most influential innovators. Her entry on the list highlights her work to address maternal health disparities and advance “evidence-based solutions to address the root causes of racism in our health care system.”

“Hardeman always asks tough questions, confronts uncomfortable realities with grace, and through her unwavering determination offers all of us a path forward toward truly advancing birth equity,” wrote U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, a Democrat from Illinois who authored the piece for Time 100.

Hardeman was born and raised in Minneapolis, earned her Ph.D. at the U of M School of Public Health, and is a faculty member at the School of Public Health, according to a news release from the U.

“This is an incredible honor. I hope this moment deepens our collective awareness and understanding of structural racism, health equity and the shared work to dismantle those barriers so all people have the same opportunities to be healthy,” Hardeman said in the news release. “The work of antiracism can be so hard, but we keep pushing because we are fueled by love. It is an immense privilege to be part of a network of colleagues, students, community leaders, health care providers, policymakers and advocates making meaningful progress in Minnesota and beyond. I would not be receiving this honor without their support and partnership.”

Also on this year’s list is Beth Ford, the CEO of Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, saying she’s “been at the forefront of a national effort to invest in America’s rural communities, from wider broadband coverage, to helping farmers adapt to the changing climate, to stronger trade efforts and more funding for agricultural [research and development].”

“I am honored to be mentioned among this impressive group of people. The list recognizes influence is most critical on issues that affect everyone, like the global food supply,” Beth Ford said in a news release from the company. “Our farmers, cooperatives and ag retailers carry the most risk in the food system. Without investment in rural America ­— its communities, its businesses, and its families ­— the interconnected global food chain is vulnerable. We all owe so much to the grit, determination and resilience of the people who feed us all.”

It’s the second year in a row that Minnesotans have made the Time 100 list. Last year, Native American chef and Indigenous food advocate Sean Sherman received that honor.

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