Vice President, Diversity & Multicultural Initiatives • Magazine Publishers of America • New York City • Age: 37
Shaunice Hawkins wanted to be an astronaut. She was fascinated by the challenges of analytical thinking, abstract theories and visualizing beyond what the eye can see. Today, as vice president of diversity and multicultural initiatives for the Magazine Publishers of America, she challenges others to think beyond what they see. “While gender diversity has made tremendous strides in the business and corporate world, there are still challenges for people of color,” Hawkins says. “I am often reminded that I am a person of color first and a woman second. I have seen the challenges that need to be overcome.”
Hawkins creates and executes diversity related initiatives, programs and services for the MPA and the American Society of Magazine Editors and helps to source and retain an ethnically diverse work force within the industry. A self-described loyal, passionate, hardworking and reliable individual who possesses integrity, her professional and personal goals are the same — to open doors for future generations. “Our great-grandparents were slaves; our grandparents lived in complete segregation; our parents marched for equality with Martin Luther King; our generation has seen Fortune 100 CEOs of color,” Hawkins says. “Thanks to innovations in science, technology and the Internet, and how they bring all cultures together, the next few generations will bring about even more inclusion.”
Hawkins is a visiting professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Drake, Howard, New York and Rutgers Uni-versities and the University of Kentucky, lecturing on racial diversity, organizational behavior, workplace culture, conflict resolution and leadership. She holds degrees and certifications from St. John’s University, NYU, Cornell and Tulane University. Balancing life, work and family is a team effort with her best friend of 29 years and husband of 13, the Rev. Kevin D. Hawkins. “With God as a foundation, anything is possible. Even the possibility of someday traveling to space,” she says.