EDITOR’S NOTE The Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices Award is only three years old. But it is long overdue as it recognizes the people who recognize the importance of Terkelesque storytelling. Aurie Pennick has always been an advocate for ‘boots on the ground’ people – those who make a difference in our world. She is an unafraid and unapologetic advocate and has never been afraid to speak up or question power, even as she has wielded much of it herself. She understands journalism must reflect the richness and diversity of Chicago. And that honest storytelling about issues is vital to a better city. Even as she retires from the Field Foundation, we know that there is nothing retiring about this woman. We expect to hear her voice at the heart of vital discussions. We are honored to honor Ms. Pennick.
Her awards are many, as are her published works and teaching experiences, including that of adjunct instructor in the master’s program at Spertus College. She is also a sought-after board member, serving on the Field Museum, Rush University Medical Center and the Adler School of Professional Psychology boards. She is the proud mother of two daughters, Faith and Keidra.
Growing up I watched my mom go to law school, work at non-profits and in philanthropy, dedicating herself to serve as an advocate for marginalized people, those who voices who are too often drowned out and ignored…I’m so honored to be her daughter.— Keidra Chaney
In a sector where people generally like to tell each other what they want to hear, Aurie is the complete opposite. She’s not afraid to tell people what they may not necessarily want to hear. At her core is a genuine respect for the hard working people we come in contact with on a daily basis. Or as Aurie likes to say, “the boots on the ground folks— Cheryl Heads, senior program officer, Field Foundation of Illinois