When you combine East Coast skepticism with Midwestern sensibilities, what you get is the passion and wit typical of columns by Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, a former writer for The Kansas City Star.
A former editorial writer and op-ed editor, Rhonda is a firm believer in the Bill of Rights and vocal advocate for civil liberties. An award-winning journalist, her columns have appeared coast-to-coast and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Whether tackling the Rummy-fication of the Iraqi war, Theocrats or the food police telling us what not to eat, Rhonda makes sure readers know where she stands.
But readers don’t always know what to expect. She has written standard columns, but also poems. Her “New Word Order’’ glossary after New Year’s Day creatively covers news from A-Z. Always topical, Rhonda mixes things up to provide newspaper readers a fresh approach in a short-attention-span Internet Age.
By invitation, her work appeared in the “Shared Experiences” exhibition at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The 2002 exhibition co-related the attacks in New York City and Oklahoma City with artifacts from both. Rhonda was then invited to participate in an Oklahoma schools project that helped children cope with terrorism and violence.
Her Sept. 11 column (“Gotham’s real heroes wear fire helmets”) was reprinted and published in the book “America, September 11th The Courage to Give: The Triumph of the Human Spirit.’’ Proceeds from the book, produced in part by the American Red Cross, went to victims’ support organizations.
Rhonda has traveled extensively and her commentary has earned her national and international honors, including an Inter American Press Association award and a 2004 Clarion Award. She has twice received the Unity Prize from Lincoln University in Missouri and is a two-time winner of the commentary award by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association. The Missouri House of Representatives singled her out with a resolution for “distinguished journalism.” She was a member of The Star’s reporting staff that won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting on the Hyatt skywalks disaster.
Rhonda graduated with a B.S. in journalism in 1980 from the University of Maryland. She attended Smith College where she received a certificate in business management from the Smith Management Program. She has received numerous fellowships. A Maryland native, she is married and lives in Kansas City with her husband and daughters.
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