J.K. Rowling is set to receive a prestigious award for fighting prejudice
Along with being the brilliant writer behind the best-selling book series of all time, J.K. Rowling also happens to be a master of shutting down trolls on Twitter. She always responds to online hate with grace and wit, frequently citing characters or situations from Harry Potter to further take her attackers down. Rowling does not suffer fools gladly — and both on and off the Internet, she remains a forever champion in the fight against prejudice of all kinds.
As the result of her outspoken efforts, the writer is officially getting some much-deserved recognition: Rowling is set to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award at PEN’s 2016 Literary Gala on May 16. The award is given annually to “a critically acclaimed author whose work embodies its mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity.” In the past, the award has been given to everyone from Toni Morrison to Margaret Atwood — and we can think of few authors as deserving as Rowling to receive it next.
“Through their experiences with Rowling both on and off the page, countless children have learned not only the power of speaking their own minds, but the critical importance of hearing others,” Andrew Solomon, President of PEN America, said in a statement. “A gifted storyteller, fierce opponent of censorship, advocate for women’s and girls’ rights, and staunch defender of access to education, Rowling uses all of the tools at her disposal to create a better and more just world for our children.”
Of course, Rowling’s efforts against repression also extend beyond the Internet: She is founder of the Volant Charitable Trust, which aims to alleviate “social deprivation” for women and children in the U.K., and helps support Multiple Sclerosis research at the University of Edinburgh. She also founded nonprofit organization Lumos in 2005, which helps millions of institutionalized children gain access to a family life, health care, and education. She also happens to be an all-around wonderful human being, who has always been vocal about the importance of free speech and equal access to education for all.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award and humbled that my work has been recognized as having moral value by an organization I so admire,” Rowling told the AP. “I’ve long been a supporter of PEN, which does invaluable work on behalf of imprisoned writers and in defense of freedom of speech.”
We can’t wait to see what incredible “mischief” Rowling manages next.
(Image via Cindy Ord/Getty.)