Jacquelynn “Jackie” Hawthorne, Assemblymember Isaac Bryan and Lamara Parnell. (Courtesy photo)

The contributions of Jacquelynn  “Jackie” Hawthorne are well known throughout South Los Angeles. A longtime public servant, Hawthorne has devoted decades to giving her time and talents to improve her community.

Her years of volunteer service were rewarded on April 2, when Assemblymember Isaac Bryan (D-Baldwin Hills) hosted a surprise event to announce his selection of Hawthorne as the 2022 Woman of the Year representing the 54th Assembly District.

Believing that she was attending a celebration for her daughter, Hawthorne was stunned to be greeted by Bryan and scores of admirers as she entered the room.  Elected officials, community leaders, colleagues and friends came out to salute Hawthorne for her commitment and activism in the social justice and human rights arena.

“I’m floating amongst the clouds right now, and I may never come down,” exclaimed Hawthorne in response to the cheers and applause from the crowd. The attendees included retired Congresswoman Diane Watson, L.A. Councilmembers Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Metro Commissioner Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker and several officers of the California Democratic Party.  Also, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called in to express congratulations to Hawthorne.

“We deeply appreciate the legacy of leaders like Jackie Hawthorne, who have given so much to uplift our community,” said Bryan.

Professionally, Hawthorne worked 28 years for L.A. County where she retired as chief of the agency’s Health Care Systems Development Division.  In this capacity, she directed project managers in designing, implementing and maintaining online systems for the county’s Health Services, Mental Health and Public Health Departments.

LAAAWPAC members congratulate Hawthorne. From left, standing are Bryan, Gail Willis, Lena Brown, Bettie Jo McKinney (seated), Ingrid Palmer, Hawthorne, Celestine Palmer and Congresswoman Diane Watson. (Courtesy photo)

As for her post-retirement, Hawthorne’s philosophy was to “dedicate my life to giving back through service to others as required by a bountifully blessed life.”  She “gave back” by volunteering her expertise to a wide range of organizations such as the Karen Bass Congressional Council, NAACP, and both the California and L.A. County Democratic Parties.

Pat Sanders, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. (Courtesy photo)

Also, she served as past president of the Los Angeles African American Political Action Committee and United Methodist Ministries – L.A. District as well as on the boards of Vision for Voices and Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute. In addition to her active involvement in several nonprofit and political groups, Hawthorne serves on the City of Los Angeles Commission on Community and Family Services.

New Frontier Democratic Club Executive Board members saluted Jacquelynn Hawthorne. From left are Lillian Wilson, Herman Jones, Faye Geyen, Donna Grayson, Pat Sanders, Michelle Reed, Assemblymember Bryan, Hawthorne, Rosa Russell, Gail Willis, Bill Thomas and Celestine Palmer. (Courtesy photo)

A woman of deep faith, Hawthorne’s favorite scripture reveals her inspiration for “giving back.” As she quickly responds if asked, Micah 6:8 – “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” – is Hawthorne’s guide.