White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre has been doing an outstanding job as the first Black person and openly LGBTQ+ person in the role. Now, she is getting the recognition she deserves. Outfest honored her with its inaugural Achievement Award for Press and Media.

An Honor Amidst A Strike

The award is the L.A.-based nonprofit’s highest honor. It celebrates the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. The presentation of the award took place on July 23 during closing night of the 41st Outfest Los Angeles Summer Festival, presented by Genesis Motor America and Warner Bros. Discovery. According to Deadline, a source close to Jean-Pierre says she did not attend the event in person amidst the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

“Outfest is thrilled to recognize the continued contributions of Karine Jean-Pierre for her barrier breaking and historic achievement in Press and Media,” Outfest board co-president Nii-Quartelai Quartey said in a statement. “Throughout her career, the Black and LGBTQ+ community has been reminded of what is possible. Our fellow Americans have been reminded of our humanity and inherent dignity. Our Outfest Press Fellows have been inspired.”

Karine Jean-Pierre’s Work

Jean-Pierre has held the role of White House press secretary since May of last year. She previously served as deputy press secretary from 2021-2022. Prior to that, she served as chief of staff for U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris during the 2020 presidential campaign.

A New Award

The Achievement Award for Press and Media is relatively new for the nonprofit. It comes amidst Outfest’s new Inclusive Press Initiative, a new investment in journalism for the organization. The program offers aspiring film critics, broadcasters and journalists unrestricted access to cover the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival. It also gives them a stipend along with mentorship from reporters. Some outlets already on board to assist include Reuters, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and KABC-TV, to name just a few. Fellows participating this year include Gisselle Palomera, Jireh Deng, Joey Harvey, Kayla Thompson, Kelsey Brown, Kristian Fanene Schmidt, Lindsay Lee Wallace, Marcus’Anthony II, Ose Ehianeta Arheghan, Eli Press-Reynolds and Shahamat Mohammed Uddin.