The Helen Duhamel Achievement Award is designated for media professionals, with special emphasis on broadcast journalists, who have made significant achievements in their profession while overcoming extreme hardships and/or challenges, and who have used their First Amendment rights to give back to society rather than simply report on events.
The Edith Wortman First Amendment and Public Speaking Competition awards are underwritten by the Helen Duhamel Achievement Awards fund and financed by grants from Kathy Duhamel and Mary Kay Switzer. Both honor excellence in calling attention to and on behalf of First Amendment issues.
These programs were established to honor Edith M. Wortman, an outstanding communicator, community and state leader who was a fierce advocate for freedom of speech. Not only was she an award-winning public speaker, she was an artist, a teacher and a business owner. Wortman was named Rapid City, South Dakota, Woman of the Year in 1970, as a humanitarian and civic leader. She worked with the Human Rights Commission to help develop leadership for the Lakota Sioux Tribal women and as South Dakota State President of the Federated Women’s Clubs of America she developed a fund raising campaign which resulted in establishment of a $500,000 art gallery and auditorium on the campus of South Dakota State University.