21 Leaders For The 21st Century Awards Gala Announces Host & Gala Chairs
Lori Sokol, Executive Director of Women's eNews, today announced the Host, Honorary Gala Chair, and Honorary Gala Co-Chairs for the 19th annual '21 Leaders for the 21st Century' Awards gala, which will take place on May 6th at Club 101 in New York City.
Tamsen Fadal, PIX 11 News Anchor, author and producer, will host the gala for the first time. Loreen Arbus, president of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation, and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc., is Honorary Gala Chair. Honorary Gala Co-Chairs include Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker and co-founder, Level Forward; Lauren Embrey, president, Embrey Family Foundation; and Suzanne Lerner, co-founder and president, Michael Stars.
"All of these outstanding women have worked tirelessly for many years to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. Essentially, they have committed their work, and their lives, to advancing gender equality throughout the world," says Lori Sokol, Ph.D. "They truly speak truth to power."
Tamsen Fadal is an eleven-time Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of PIX 11 News in New York at 5pm, 6pm and 10 pm. She is the executive producer and host of Broadway Profiles for The Broadway Channel.
With more than two decades of experience, she has covered local, national, and international stories including Hurricane Sandy, the Metro North train derailment, the Columbia Shuttle crash, the London bombings, and the war on terror. In 2002, she traveled to Afghanistan and was embedded with the American troops during the war. Additionally, Tamsen reported during Operation Enduring Freedom from Air Force bases in London and Germany.
A longtime theater fan, Fadal made her Broadway debut in Chicago in January 2010, followed by In the Heights and Rock of Ages.
In 2017, Tamsen received an Emmy Award for Best On-Camera Achievement and Best Host for Broadway Profiles. In 2014, Tamsen was honored with an Emmy Award for Best On-Camera Achievement as a News Anchor/Host and, in 2016, received the Emmy Award a second time. She has also garnered Emmy Awards for her Political News Special Remembering Ed Koch and Arts Programming for her Backstage on Broadway theater series. In 2005 she was honored with an Emmy Award for her work as an investigative reporter.
In 2016, Tamsen received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). In 2015, she was named a "Power Woman" by Moves Magazine for her work on-air and in the community. In 2014, she was selected to receive the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard, and Airmen's Club Media Award for her work overseas with our troops.
Tamsen, a Lebanese-American, is passionate about empowering women and has appeared on The Talk, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Lifetime, A&E, and The CBS Early Show in support of this mission. She has co-authored three self-help books; her latest, The New Single: Finding, Fixing, and Falling Back In Love With Yourself (St. Martin's Press), seeks to help women emerge from a big life change with confidence, grace, and a recipe for self-care.
She is the Honorary Vice Chair of the ADAPT Community Network Board of Directors, Board member of Best Buddies New York, and spokesperson for SHARE Cancer Support and North Shore Animal League. Tamsen lost her mother to breast cancer in 1990 and has been a long-time advocate of educating women and their families about this devastating disease and the necessity for early detection. In 2011, she co-founded Shansen Jewelry, alongside her cousin, actress Shannon Elizabeth, with a portion of all proceeds going to animal rescue and breast cancer charities.
Loreen Arbus is currently the President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc. Through these organizations and in her personal endeavors, Ms. Arbus is a tireless advocate for women and girls; a champion for one of the world's largest minorities - people with disabilities; and is passionate about encouraging equal opportunities in television, film, communications, and the arts.
She holds the trailblazing distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (both at Showtime and Cable Health Network/Lifetime). In addition to helping establish these two cornerstones of cable television, she launched Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc., an independent television production company with an emphasis on non-fiction programming. Ms. Arbus has extensive experience in the entertainment industry as a writer and producer, a consultant to various networks, and an executive in network television, cable, syndication and print media.
The author of six non-fiction books, she has also written countless articles for many national publications, and was twice nominated for an Emmy Award. She co-wrote the first book on AIDs, Everything You Need to Know About AIDs, with Dr. Mathilde Krim.
Through her philanthropic activities, particularly the Loreen Arbus Foundation, Ms. Arbus supports a broad scope of interests including advocacy for women and girls, scientific and medical research, minorities, people with disabilities, gender and racial equality in media, the arts, animal rights, and global peace. The Foundation has established and funds many scholarships that both enhance and elevate social consciousness around key societal issues.
As a disability rights activist, she is committed to the work initiated by her parents (Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson, Founder and Chairman of ABC) who co-founded what is today the fifth largest health agency in America, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), which serves people with a wide range of disabilities. Ms. Arbus served as the Founder and Chair of the annual Women Who Care Awards Luncheon, a high-profile New York tradition which for fifteen years generated global media attention and raised over eight million dollars for people with disabilities. Ms. Arbus also co-founded the Media Access Office to increase employment, improve depiction, and raise consciousness regarding disability.
Ms. Arbus has been recognized by numerous organizations for her humanitarian and professional accomplishments. A partial list of awards and achievements include: The Heart of Giving Award presented by President Bill Clinton in 2001; Genii Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by American Women in Radio & Television and the Ms. Foundation for Women 2011 Woman of Vision and Action Award presented by Gloria Steinem. In December 2006, she was inducted as an honoree into the She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio collection at the Paley Center for Media. In 2014, she was honored with the UN's Woman Pioneer Award. Her speech, focusing on disability rights, was seen in over 120 countries on the occasion of Women's Entrepreneur Day. Last spring, she was honored at the SHARE Inc. Gala in Los Angeles.
Lori Sokol, Ph. D., is the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of Women's eNews. She is also the host of the weekly radio show, Women's eNews Live, on 1490 AM WGCH, where she invites experts to discuss the most crucial issues affecting women and girls around the world.
Dr. Sokol was previously the Founder and President of Sokol Media, Inc., publisher of business magazines that advocate for diversity, inclusion and sustainability in the workplace. Passionately committed to addressing these and related topics, Dr. Sokol strives to empower individuals to triumph over gender-related societal limits so they can reach their full potential unhindered. She has done so as a published writer on issues relating to gender equality in such major market publications as the Baltimore Sun, The NY Times, Slate.com, and The Huffington Post. She has also been interviewed on a variety of television news programs including MSNBC, CNBC, WPIX, and Fox Five Live, and was the subject of a Cablevision series, People in New Jersey Who Are Making a Difference.
As a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology, Dr. Sokol's research specifically focused on the media's influence in crafting gender roles, further seeking to expose how stereotypes are created and maintained. She has also published academic articles on psychology and the media, taught a seminar on Media Psychology through the University of Beijing, China, and served as an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at Montclair State University, where she taught a course entitled Psychology of Women.
In 2009, Dr. Sokol was elected to the Asian Women Business Council's Executive Committee as its U.S. representative to help Asian female business owners expand their reach into the United States. She has also served as a keynote speaker for the Society of Marketing Professionals, the International Telework Association Council, and internationally at the Asian Women Entrepreneur Conference in Seoul, and the International Women in Commerce Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2017. Dr. Sokol has served as the Board Chair of Women's eNews and on the Advisory Councils of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, and Have Art Will Travel. Her book, The Agile Workforce and Workplace: The New Future of Work, was published by Working Mother Media/Bonnier Corporation in 2011.
Abigail E. Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist, activist, and the Emmy-winning director of The Armor of Light. As CEO and president of Fork Films, the documentary production company behind the groundbreaking Pray the Devil Back to Hell and the PBS series Women, War & Peace, Abigail is committed to stories that create dialogue across divides and move the needle on social change. She has executive produced and supported over 90 projects through Fork Films' funding program.
Additionally, Abigail is the founder and president of Peace is Loud, a nonprofit that uses media and live events to highlight stories of women stepping up for peace. Recently, Abigail co-founded Level Forward, a new entertainment model and enterprise in which profit and principle go hand in hand. The company, formed in partnership with Killer Content, builds on the legacy of making stories that matter, with a commitment to innovation, inclusion, and impact.
Having grown up in a family of filmmakers, Disney turned to documentaries in 2008, inspired to tell the story of a brave group of women who used nonviolent protests and sex strikes to bring an end to Liberia's long civil war. That film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which was broadly credited with highlighting the bravery and sacrifice of its lead figure, Leymah Gbowee, won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008, and screened in 60 countries around the world on all seven continents.
Among the many films Disney's production company, Fork Films, has supported promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice, include: 1971, Alias Ruby Blade, Citizen Koch, Family Affair, Hot Girls Wanted, The Mask You Live In, Out In the Night, Playground, Seeds of Time, Sexy Baby, The Only Real Game, This is How I Roll, Cameraperson, and the Academy Award-nominated films Sun Come Up (2011, Best Documentary Short) and The Invisible War (2012, Best Documentary Feature).
Lauren Embrey is President and the Philanthropic Visionary of The Embrey Family Foundation and CEO of Embrey Interests, Ltd. located in Dallas, TX. She also serves as a Board Member of The AT&T Performing Arts Center (Vice Chair), The Dallas Theater Center, TACA and The Letot Center Foundation Board in Dallas, Texas Futures Project in Austin, The Women's Media Center, Former Board Chair, ERA Coalition and PEN America in New York City.
Lauren serves on the Advisory Board for Human Rights Initiative in Dallas, Nomi Network in NYC, The National Observer in Vancouver BC, the Honorary Board for Have Art Will Travel in New York City and Titas in Dallas.
Lauren's passion is theater, dance, film and human rights work. She produced the U.S. Premiere of Truth in Translation in 2007 at Southern Methodist University. She is Executive Producer for the documentary Playground, a film on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in America, and a documentary on The Apollo Theater. She is involved in Chicken n Egg Pictures, Impact Partners and The Sundance Institute.
Lauren is currently aiding in the development of The Global Arts Corps next theatrical production, and in the development and production of a film on the life of Bert Williams.
Lauren is a member of Women Moving Millions, The Threshold Foundation, The Democracy Alliance, and Synergos Institute's Global Philanthropy Circle.
Lauren received the Women That Soar Award for Philanthropy in Dallas, TX in 2009. The Embrey Family Foundation received the Award for Outstanding Foundation by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Angel of Freedom Award from Human Rights Initiative in 2009. In 2015, the Foundation received The Destiny Award from St. Phillips School in Dallas for their Dallas Faces Race Initiative. Lauren received the Champion of Human Rights Award given by Mosaic Services, the Peacemaker Award from Peacemakers International, and the Women Who Give Hope Award given by The Chiapas Project in 2010 and The MS Foundation for Women's Women of Vision Philanthropy Award in 2013. She received Ignite's Trailblazer Award, Chicken and Egg Pictures' Good Egg Award, The Pachamama Alliance's Philanthropy Award, Dallas Women's Foundation's Maura Award, and She Should Run's Wendy Award in 2014. She was awarded the Force for Change Award by the Texas Equal Access Fund in 2015 and The Abolitionist Award from Nomi Network in 2016 and The Dallas Holocaust Museum's Hope for Humanity Award in 2017.
The Embrey Foundation is a member of the 100% network, aligning 100% of their assets with their values. The Embrey Family Foundation has supported and invested in many community and national efforts that further the business and leadership of women and communities of color.
The Embrey Family Foundation founded an initiative in 2013 called Dallas Faces Race. This initiative grew and culminated into a partnership with the W K Kellogg Foundation's Truth Racial Healing and Transformation work in 2017.
Lauren received her Bachelor's in Business Administrations and her Masters in Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Lauren is currently working on her first fiction novel scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Suzanne Lerner, co-founder, CEO, and president of lifestyle and clothing brand Michael Stars, is an activist entrepreneur and philanthropist. Her primary focus is on creating economic empowerment for women and girls and supporting organizations that promote gender and racial equality - giving back to communities both domestically and internationally through personal grants, impact investments, and the Michael Stars Foundation.
She co-founded Michael Stars in Los Angeles with husband Michael Cohen, focused on one fordimable goal: to create the perfect tee. Under Suzanne's leadership, Michael Stars has evolved into an inimitable collection of high quality, beautifully designed and constructed wardrobe essentials, made with sustainable materials.
Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Ms. Lerner's commitment to social and racial equality began at a young age, becoming part of the city's dynamic movements for gender and racial equality. She and her husband Michael Cohen co-founded and built Michael Stars with opportunity, equality, and diversity as core values.
Today Ms. Lerner inspires new generations of social impact entrepreneurs and is a frequent contributor and speaker on investing, founding, and running socially conscious businesses. She serves as a director on several non-profit boards including the ACLU of Southern California, the ERA Coalition, and the Ms. Foundation, an organization dedicated to building women's collective power for social, economic, and reproductive justice. She has been honored as a "Woman of Vision" by the Ms. Foundation and was recognized as one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews in 2018. She is also an active member of both Women Moving Millions and Women's Donor Network.
Suzanne also serves as an advisory board member of Prosperity Catalyst, Children Mending Hearts, and A Call to Men. She resides in Los Angeles, CA with her #feministpup @ms_simba.
The 2019 Women's eNews' '21 Leaders for the 21st Century' honorees will be announced over the next two months leading up to the awards gala.
Two key awards will be presented:
· The Rita Henley Jensen Investigative Journalism Award -This award pays tribute to an outstanding female journalist in honor to Women's eNews founder, Rita Henley Jensen. A portion of the event's proceeds will go to funding the Women's eNews Rita Henley Jensen Internship Program to train the next generation of female journalists.