Helen S. Hawkins, Ph.D., was a producer & host of KPBS humanities programs, an historian, co-founder and first president of San Diego National Organization for Women, and publications director for the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. She produced and appeared in more than 100 KPBS-TV programs. Hawkins was an historian whose inquisitive mind and work improved the lives of women in our community. In an effort to provide support and information to the women of San Diego, Helen became co-founder an first president of the local NOW. She furthered this work by serving 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 masters and Ph.D. in history.
In the late 1970s Dr. Hawkins joined KPBS television as Executive Producer of Humanities programming. During her 6 years there she produced more than 100 television programs, many of which focus on women's rights and issues of the time. Her work received an Emmy and a silver gavel from the American Bar Association. In addition, Dr. Helen Hawkins was awarded NOW's Susan B. Anthony award given for "courage and compassion and work for women's rights." Helen also 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 minorities rights. Her most notable quote is true today: "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 Hawkins lives on as a role model as we move toward equality in the 21st century.