The honor will be presented as part of Variety’s annual 10 Directors to Watch brunch, held at the Parker Palm Springs hotel, on Jan. 3.
"Lena Waithe is one of the most prolific writer-actor-producers working in Hollywood right now," Variety Editor-In-Chief Claudia Eller said in a statement announcing the honor. Eller also praised Waithe's "extraordinary ability to get projects with black filmmakers and talent produced for film and television."
"With Queen & Slim, Lena wrote and produced a story that has been central to the conversation regarding representation and storytelling in the black community," Eller continued. "Her determination to get these stories told is inspiring."
The award comes on the heels of Queen & Slim -- directed by Melina Matsoukas and starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith -- receiving the Impact Award from the The African-American Film Critics Association.