Pictured at the NY event in which PEN America honored 50 years of Ms. magazine are (l to r): PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel; Eleanor Smeal, president, Femiinist Majority Foundation; Katherine Spillar, executive editor of Ms. and executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and author and women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem

(New York)— PEN America honored Ms. magazine on Sept. 19 with its Impact Award, celebrating the pathbreaking feminist publication and its half a century of journalism centered on women and their lives “often ignored in the mainstream.”

In a room with feminist icon Gloria Steinem, a co-founding editor of Ms., and other champions for women’s advancement, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said that Ms. has left an indelible mark on the landscape of journalism, activism and women’s rights.”

“Through its art, literature and journalism, Ms. magazine became a platform that educated, inspired and mobilized generations of feminists in support of equality,” said Nossel. “I am deeply honored to present the PEN America Impact Award … in recognition of Ms. magazine’s contributions to journalism, feminism and social change.”

Accepting the award with Steinem, Kathy (Katherine) Spillar, executive editor of Ms. and executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said: “We at Ms. Magazine are deeply honored to receive the inaugural Impact Award from PEN America. We are eternally grateful for the work PEN America does to stand up for free expression, to champion the power of the written word, to elevate marginalized voices, and to combat censorship. These are the very same values have shaped the trajectory of Ms. for over 50 years — and will continue to propel us forward. Onward to the next 50!”

Nossel told the celebratory audience: “It seems audacious, even today, that one could start a revolution by telling stories often ignored in the mainstream, written by voices that have been cast aside. And yet, that is the very model that has allowed Ms. to serve as a catalyst for social change.”

Noting the magazine’s mission as a catalyst for social change, Nossel added: “This guiding principle continues to ring true today—when the landscape for women’s rights looks more like it did in 1971 than it did a decade ago. The work of Ms. magazine is far from over.”

Ms. began as a one-off insert in New York magazine in 1971, evolving into a stand-alone publication with funding from New York editor Clay Felker.

The celebration took place as Ms. released a book, 50 Years of Ms.: The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine That Ignited a Revolution.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org 

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057