Jennifer Berry Hawes is a reporter with ProPublica’s South hub who focuses on criminal justice, religion, race and the welfare of women and children.
Prior to ProPublica, Hawes worked at The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, most recently as a watchdog and public service reporter. She was part of the team that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for public service for the series “Till Death Do Us Part,” which examined South Carolina’s failure to protect women from often-fatal domestic abuse. Hawes also was a 2019 Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, along with fellow reporter Deanna Pan, for their series “An Undying Mystery” about the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina. Hawes has written on topics ranging from persistent failures in public education to prison violence to racial injustice.
Hawes reported extensively on the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting in 2015, in which nine people were killed during Bible study at one of the country’s oldest Black churches. Her 2019 book stemming from that reporting, “Grace Will Lead Us Home,” won the Christopher Award and Audie Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Hawes is based in South Carolina.