Women’s and Gender Studies Department
Patrice Gaines is a veteran journalist with more than three decades of professional experience. She was a reporter at the Washington Post for 16 years and was part of a reporting team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Gaines has been a commentator for National Public Radio and has won any prestigious awards and fellowships for her journalism and nonfiction writing. She currently coaches writers from her home in Lake Wylie, S.C.
As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine and Essence magazine. Her literary accomplishments include the autobiography "Laughing in the Dark: From Colored Girl To Women of Color-A Journey from Prison to Power," which is required reading at many colleges, and the self-help and inspirational book, "Moments of Grace: Meeting the Challenge to Change" Gaines is a frequent motivational speaker at colleges, conferences and churches around the country.
In 2009, she was awarded the esteemed Sores Justice Media Fellowship from Open Society Institute to research and write a series of articles on the impact of incarceration on the black community. Other professional awards include: First Place in Commentary from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Associated Press, Chesapeake Chapter, award for Best News Story. Gaines received a Michigan Journalism Fellowship to study creative writing at the University of Michigan and has been awarded fellowships to the renowned artists communities of MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H. and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. She won the Women at Work Award from Wider Opportunities for Women for her compassionate coverage of women's issues and the Empatheia Award from Volunteers of America for outstanding community service and excellence in reporting on social issues.