2005

Helen S. Hawkins

Empowerer

Historian Helen S. Hawkins, Ph.D., was a producer and host of more than 100 KPBS-TV humanities programs, co-founder and first president of San Diego National Organization for Women, and publications director for the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Her inquisitive mind and work improved the lives of women in our community. For example, she served on the Commission for Affirmative Action and Women's Rights, participated in the National Women's Caucus, and helped create Dimensions, a women's networking group. After raising three children, she returned to school to complete her M.A. and Ph.D. in history.

In the late 1970s, Dr. Hawkins joined KPBS television as Executive Producer of Humanities programming. During her six years with KPBS, she produced many programs that focused on women's rights and issues of the time. Her work earned an Emmy and a silver gavel from the American Bar Association. The National Organization of Women presented the Susan B. Anthony award to Hawkins for "courage and compassion and work for women's rights." Helen became publications director for the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation while serving on the UCSD Board of Overseers and with SD Independent Scholars. She embodied leadership and courage, and her work bridged the gap between community and academics. She was a true visionary, a pioneer in her time in the broadcasting industry while furthering women's and minority rights. Her most notable quote remains true: "Equal rights are just like liberty, never secure. The erosion of rights occurs so quietly, so slowly--you may not even notice it at first." Helen died in 1989, at the age of 59, but lives on as a role model.

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San Diego, CA 92106

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