Cal State San Bernardino alumna Paulette Brown-Hinds will be honored by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce with the 38th annual ATHENA of Riverside Award for her dedication in media and journalism. She will be recognized at a luncheon given by the chamber on Thursday, May 25, at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside.

This marks the latest recognition for Brown-Hinds ’90, who was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in Humane Letters from CSUSB in 2022, named a John S. Knight Senior Journalism Fellow for 2022-23, and is the publisher of the Black Voice News.

The mission of ATHENA of Riverside is to support, develop and honor women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential, creating balance in leadership worldwide. ATHENA of Riverside is a program supported by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce that opens doors of leadership opportunity for women through inspiration, education, cultivation and mentoring. Each year the program raises funds for scholarships given to college-level women from the Riverside region to attend local colleges and universities.

A well-known and widely respected philanthropist, business and community leader, Brown-Hinds’ interest in local journalism and doing work for the public good has led her to serve on multiple influential boards, including the James Irvine FoundationAmerican Press InstituteCalifornia Press Foundation and the California News Publishers Association, the largest and oldest trade association for the news publishing industry in the state. In 2019, she served as president of the board, becoming the first African American elected to lead the organization. She is also the first African American to chair the Inland Empire Community Foundation board.

She is the co-founder of Media In Color, collaborating with media professionals to ensure California’s news media organizations in communities of color are self-sufficient civic actors informing, empowering and advancing the interests of their communities.

As a lifelong student of African American literature, culture and history, Brown-Hinds leads Underground Railroad Study Tours for the Black Voice Foundation, stewards a collection of rare antebellum slavery artifacts and is the founder of Mapping Black California, a community mapping and STE[A]M (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) initiative.

Brown-Hinds has published various scholarly articles on 20th century Black women writers. Additionally, she taught expository writing to students in the CSUSB College of Social and Behavioral Sciences as an adjunct professor at CSUSB between 1993-2013. Since 2016, she has served as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Riverside, teaching a course on connecting students in media and the arts with the broader community.

Brown-Hinds has been awarded Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge funding, was a Knight Digital Media Fellow and a Salzburg Seminar in American Studies Fellow. She earned a BA in English literature from CSUSB and an MA and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of California, Riverside.

For information on the ATHENA of Riverside luncheon, contact Quirina Arana at or (951) 683-7100, extension 211.