Iowa Author Awards 2021

In Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Finger pointing

Nikole Hannah-Jones Wows at Iowa Author Awards Dinner

Nearly 600 guests filled the Embassy Suites Des Moines ballroom on November 22 for the Des Moines Public Library Foundation’s annual Iowa Author Awards Dinner and fundraiser. This year’s honoree was Waterloo native Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose 1619 Project for The New York Times was turned into a book this fall. Hannah-Jones told the large crowd that “books and libraries saved my life ... books in the library helped me understand the options of what could be.”

NHJ with Crowder
Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks with moderator Courtney Crowder
NHJ Sponsors
Nikole Hannah-Jones Speaks with the Crowd
Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks to the crowd.
Ann and Mertz Anderson
Ann and Mertze Anderson accept the 2021 Friends of Literacy Award on behalf of the Ralph & Syliva G. Green Foundation.
DMPL Foundation President Trevor Meers
DMPL Foundation President Trevor Meers
NHJ Speaks with the crowd.
NHJ speaks with the crowd
The Crowd Listens as Nikole Hannah-Jones Speaks
The crowd listens as Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks
Honorary Chair Jacquie Easley McGhee
Honorary Chair Jacquie Easley McGhee
The 1619 Project

Nearly 600 guests filled the Embassy Suites Des Moines ballroom on November 22 for the Des Moines Public Library Foundation’s annual Iowa Author Awards Dinner and fundraiser. This year’s honoree was Waterloo native Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose 1619 Project for The New York Times was turned into a book this fall. Hannah-Jones told the large crowd that “books and libraries saved my life... books in the library helped me understand the options of what could be.”

Born on the Water

On November 16, Hannah-Jones’ new books The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, a children’s picture book; and The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story will be released. On her website Hannah-Jones states: “This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today.”

Event attendees will receive a copy of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. Beaverdale Books will be selling copies of both new books.

Thank you for helping to transform lives by ensuring the Library remains a vital community resource.


About Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones on the Stairs

Hannah-Jones is the first Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at the Howard University School of Communications. In this new position, she will launch the Center for Journalism and Democracy.

In 1998, Hannah-Jones received a bachelor’s degree in history and African American studies from Notre Dame. She earned a master’s degree in 2003 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a Roy H. Park Fellow. Hannah-Jones’ successful investigative journalism career took her around the country working for The Oregonian, ProPublica, and most recently The New York Times. She serves on the 38-member trustee board for the Brooklyn Public Library.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Hannah-Jones has been recognized in numerous ways including: election to the Academy of Arts and Letters, 2021; a MacArthur Fellowship, the “Genius Award” in 2017 for her work on educational inequality; Society of Professional Journalists, Fellow of the Society Award, 2020; Teachers College Medal of Distinguished Service, Columbia University, 2020; Society of American Historians Fellow, 2020; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Distinguished Alumna Award, 2019; and Gannett Foundation Innovation in Watchdog Journalism Award, 2012.

2021 Honorees

2021 Honorary Chair

Jacquie Easley McGhee

Jacquie Easley McGhee

Jacquie is Director, Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for MercyOne Iowa.

 

2021 Friends of Literacy

The Ralph & Sylvia G. Green Foundation

Mertze Anderson Johnson and Ann Anderson

WE THANK OUR SPONSORS

Presenting Sponsor

 

Cultivating Compassion

Publisher's Prize ($10,000)

 

DMR
Eychaner
Principal

 

Heritage Sponsors ($5,000)

 

Meredith
Polk County
Riley Family Foundation
 
Substance Architecture
Wells Fargo
Chuck Rohm
Karen Shaff & Steve Jayne
Walt Smith Family Foundation
Pamala Bass Bookey & Harry Bookey
Katherine & Andrew Hauser
Cynthia O'Brien & Michael Fitzpatrick

Bestsellers ($2,500)

  • American Enterprise
  • Blu Pagoda, LLC
  • Charlotte & Fred Hubbell
  • Trudy Holman Hurd
  • Iowa CCI
  • Sasha and Mike Kamper
  • Knapp Properties
  • Krause Group
  • Cyril & John Mandelbaum
  • Lauren and Cory McAnelly
  • Nationwide
  • NCMIC
  • Oakridge Neighborhood
  • Isobel Osius and Paula Feltner
  • Phyllis Pearson and Dan Bohner
  • Karen Shaff & Steve Jayne
  • Susan Skinner & Mark Movic
  • Rachel Stauffer & Jim Lawson
  • Susan & Carl Voss
  • Deborah & Douglas West

Underwriters

  • Dory Briles
  • Katherine & Andrew Hauser
  • Debbie & Mike Hubbell
  • Angela Jackson
  • Mary Riche
  • Carole Villeneuve & Douglas Dorner

In-Kind Donors

 

  • Air Lanes Bowling Center
  • Lucas Alexander
  • Americana
  • Andy’s Frame Shop
  • Back Country
  • Isabel Bloom
  • Dianne Bohlen
  • Dory Briles
  • Buzzard Billy’s
  • Cookies Food Products
  • Dealt Hand
  • Des Moines Buccaneers
  • Des Moines Playhouse
  • Des Moines Symphony & Academy
  • Drake Diner
  • Luke Elzinga
  • Flag of Des Moines
  • Fridley Theatres
  • Amy Gooding
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Iowa Arboretum
  • Iowa Orchids, Inc.
  • Iowa Wild
  • John Wayne Birthplace & Museum
  • Let’s Roam - https://www.letsroam.com
  • Rachel Mans McKenny
  • Lauren McAnelly
  • MediaCom
  • Chris Nebons
  • Noce
  • Panera Bread of Iowa
  • RayGun
  • Seven Oaks Recreation
  • Karen Shaff and Steve Jayne
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Splash Seafood Bar & Grill/Jethro’s BBQ
  • Starbucks
  • Martha and Stephen Stephenson
  • The Dinner Detective
  • The Other Place
  • Theatrical Shop
  • Toad Valley Golf Club
  • Wakonda Club
  • Wendy Sorensen Photography