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The Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award 

2022 Honorees

William C. Rhoden.jpg
Adger Cowans.jpg

“Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” 2022 Recipients

Adger Cowans and William C. Rhoden will be the recipients of the “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” at the annual celebration October 6th -8th, 2022 in Fort Scott, Kansas. The celebration is in honor Fort Scott native Gordon Parks, noted photographer, writer, musician, and filmmaker. The Choice of Weapons Award was established in Parks’ honor to be given annually at the Celebration. More detailed information about the annual celebration will be coming soon with a full press release.

Adger Cowans, a fine arts photographer and abstract expressionist painter, has experimented with a myriad of mediums over his artistic career. Renowned in the world of photography and fine art, his works have been shown by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Museum of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Harvard Fine Art Museum, Detroit Art Institute, James E. Lewis Museum and numerous other art institutions.


After attending Ohio University where he received a BFA in photography, Cowans furthered his education at the School of Motion Picture Arts and School of Visual Arts in New York. While serving in the United States Navy, he worked as a photographer before moving to New York, where he later worked with Life magazine photographer Gordon Parks and fashion photographer Henri Clarke.

Cowans was awarded the Lorenzo il Magnifico alla Carriera in recognition of a Distinguished Career at the 2001 Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art. He is the recipient of a John Hay Whitney Fellowship and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Caesar Chavez, Rosa Parks Visiting Scholars Award, Wayne State University.

At his first one man show at the Heliography Gallery in New York, Jacob Deschin of the New York Times described Cowans’ work as “Boldly inventive and experimental...and the artist is a craftsman to his fingertips.”

William C. Rhoden, is an award-winning national sports writer and visiting professional at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Rhoden is one of the most accomplished sports journalists of his generation and is regarded as an expert on the topics of sports and race. He is currently a columnist and editor-at-large at Andscape, ESPN’s digital platform that explores the intersection of race, culture and sports.

In collaboration with Andscape formerly (The Undefeated), ESPN, and The Walt Disney Company, he has established the Rhoden Fellows Initiative, which identifies and trains aspiring

African-American journalists from historically black colleges and universities. At the Cronkite School, Rhoden serves as a visiting professional and teaches “Opinion in the Digital Age,” which introduces students to the art of crafting and forming thoughtful opinion pieces for all existing platforms.


In addition, he also is a visiting senior practitioner for the Global Sport Institute, where he provides feedback on the institute’s strategic direction and helps develop concepts for the Global Sport Matters content hub.

Rhoden rose to prominence at The New York Times, where he published his award-winning “Sports of the Times” column for 26 years and established himself as one of the top sports columnists in the country.

The veteran journalist has received numerous career honors. In 2021, the National Sports Media Association inducted Rhoden’s into its Hall of Fame in. In 2018, he was inducted to the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Hall of Fame for contributions to journalism and the Black community.

He won a Peabody Award in 1996 as a writer for HBO’s documentary “Journey of the African American Athlete” and earned an Emmy Award for his writing on the documentary “Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football.” Rhoden is an accomplished author who published “Forty Million Dollar Slaves” in 2006 and “Third and a Mile: The Trials and Triumphs of The Black Quarterback” in 2007.

He was also presented with the 2017 Sam Lacy-Wendell Smith Award by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism for contributions to racial and gender equality in sports.


Ticket information and the full schedule will be posted at a later date on the website

Past Choice of Weapons Award Recipients

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