Episode 014: Taking Up Space, with Karen Hawkins

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Today, KT Speetzen is joined with Karen Hawkins, the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine for Women. In addition, after recording, Karen was named the Managing Digital Editor of The Chicago Reader. We are chatting with Karen about her role in Rebellious Women’s Magazine and Ladies Room Chicago.


  • Learn a bit about Karen from KT [0:00:40]

  • Why she created Rebellious Magazine + why feminist news is important in Chicago [0:02:29]

  • Why it is important to have a space for female creatives [0:04:11]

  • How inclusivity is important + how to be intentional about it [0:07:40]

  • What steps can companies do to have job retention [0:10:43]

  • Why niche journalism is leaning into the non-profit sphere [0:12:22]

  • How she decided to feature female comedians in Chicago [0:14:49]

  • Who her muppet alter ego is [0:17:10]

You gotta try different stuff and go talk to people you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to, in order to find a diverse workforce.
— Karen Hawkins
If you want to retain people and develop them and to create a workforce where everyone feels comfortable, you have to be willing to listen and act on the things people tell you.
— Karen Hawkins

Get to Know Karen

Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine for Women. She is an award-winning reporter and editor whose journalism background includes positions with The Associated Press, the Windy City Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. She is the former director of communications for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Karen wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's always wanted to start when he called her “Rebellious” for taking too many weekends off.

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Meet the Host:

KT Speetzen is the CEO of Mother Cluckers Comedy, LLC. By day she teaches everyone from entrepreneurs, politicians to corporations the power of comedic storytelling for branding and engagement. By night she’s the and the Creator and Producer of Chicago’s The Mother Cluckers Comedy Troupe. In previous lives, KT has worked behind the scenes in documentary television for A&E, The History Channel and National Geographic, in addition to earning her Masters in Education and her National Boards Certification while teaching for the Chicago Public Schools. KT loves David Bowie, her crazy family, and is slowly starting to understand Twitter.