Karen Hawkins Named First Recipient of NLGJA Jeanne Córdova Award

Karen Hawkins Named First Recipient of NLGJA Jeanne Córdova Award

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Karen Hawkins / NLGJA
Karen Hawkins / NLGJA

NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists has announced that Rebellious Magazine for Women founder and editor-in-chief Karen Hawkins is the inaugural recipient of the new NLGJA Jeanne Córdova Award.

The award recognizes the achievement of an LGBTQ woman for a current body of work in journalism and/or opinion, with an emphasis on but not exclusively coverage of issues of importance to the LGBTQ community, in any medium and on any platform.

“I am honored and humbled to receive NLGJA’s inaugural Jeanne Córdova Award,” Hawkins said. “Her amazing legacy inspires me to continue working on behalf of our shared passion for feminist journalism and lesbian visibility. Thank you, NLGJA, for this recognition, and love and thanks to the incredible team that makes Rebellious Magazine for Women possible.”

Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine for Women. She is an award-winning reporter and editor whose journalism background includes positions with The Associated Press, the Windy City Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Palm Beach Post. She is also the former director of communications for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“Karen Hawkins is a thoughtful and dedicated news leader who has created a go-to publication that captures the feminist perspective on an incredible number of important topics that impact women and the LGBTQ community,” said NLGJA President Jen Christensen.

“Everything she does with the magazine is meant to empower us,” Christensen said. “The publication’s profiles of the women who run popular restaurants and successful businesses are inspiring. Its queer-focused sex column gives advice readers won’t find elsewhere. Karen is also dedicated to hiring and supporting queer women throughout the industry. I know I personally am inspired by all that she does for the industry and for our community.”

The award is named for Córdova, who was a journalist and the editor and publisher of Lesbian Tide, which chronicled the 1970s lesbian feminist movement. She authored both “When We Were Outlaws: a Memoir of Love and Revolution” and “Kicking the Habit: A Lesbian Nun Story.”

Jeanne Córdova
Jeanne Córdova

Córdova organized a number of lesbian conferences and fought for lesbian and gay rights on a number of fronts. She founded the Community Yellow Pages, a directory of gay- and lesbian-owned Southern California businesses, and co-founded an organization that sponsored lesbian art and history exhibits. She died in 2016.

“Jeanne Córdova believed that good journalism was critical to supporting and transforming our movements,” said Lynn Harris Ballen, Córdova’s spouse. “Her work as a reporter, a columnist and as publisher of the Lesbian Tide was always connected to her activism.”

Ballen added, “She wrote that, ‘being an organizer and journalist in the lesbian, gay, feminist, and women of color communities – and loving it – has been the focal point, of my life.’ In creating this NLGJA award for lesbian and queer women journalists, she wanted to reach out across generations for others to do the same because we are stronger when we support each other to keep telling the important stories for and by our communities.”

The award is possible because of Córdova’s generosity, and is envisioned to be awarded annually at least through 2026. In its inaugural year it includes $2,000 to support the ongoing work of the recipient.

Hawkins will receive the NLGJA Jeanne Córdova Award at the 2018 NLGJA National Convention in Palm Springs, September 6-9 at the Hotel Zoso. Learn more at nlgja.org/2018.

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