Women's ENews Announces Cheryl Wills As Host Of Its 20th ENews 21 Leaders For The 21st Century Awards Gala

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Women's ENews Announces Cheryl Wills As Host Of Its 20th  ENews 21 Leaders For The 21st Century Awards Gala

Lori Sokol, PhD, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of Women's eNews, has announced the Host, Honorary Gala Chair, and Honorary Gala Co-Chairs for the 20th annual 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Awards gala, which will take place on May 4th at Club 101 in New York City.

Cheryl Wills, Spectrum News NY1 Anchor NY1 Live at Ten, Host In Focus with Cheryl Wills, author, and past 21 Leaders for the 21st Century honoree, 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. Gloria Joseph, philanthropist and journalist, and Suzanne Lerner, co-founder and president, Michael Stars, are Honorary Gala Co-Chairs. "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. "They truly speak truth to power."

Lori Sokol, PhD, is the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of Women's eNews. An entrepreneur, scholar, and psychologist, her career spans over 35 years of reporting, writing, researching, and publishing on such pertinent social issues as gender equality, the needs of working parents, environmental sustainability, and strides made by

female professionals determined to smash the proverbial 'glass ceiling.'

Dr. Sokol has served as the keynote speaker at several global women's conferences throughout Asia and Europe, and her articles have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the NY Times, Slate.com, and The Huffington Post. She has been interviewed on MSNBC, CNBC, WPIX, and Fox Five Live. Her first book, Flex Primer for the New Future of Work, was published by Working Mother Media in 2011. Her second book, She Is Me: How Women Will Save The World, will be published by She Writes Press on August 1, 2020. Advance reader copies will be distributed to attendees at the gala.

Cheryl Wills is a nationally recognized Emmy award-winning television personality for Spectrum News' flagship national news network, NY1, headquartered in New York City. Cheryl has been with NY1 since its launch in 1992 and is one of the station's most recognizable journalists for breaking news and special coverage. She is the only journalist in the nearly 25-year history of the cable news network to conduct a sit-down interview with The Secretary-General of The United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon. She has also interviewed a sitting President: Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. Cheryl's groundbreaking interviews earned her a prestigious Medal of Excellence from The United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA). She has reported from the White House, is a blogger for The Huffington Post, and contributes to Essence.com.

Born and raised in New York City, Cheryl is the daughter of Firefighter Clarence Wills, who worked for Engine 1, Ladder 24, in Manhattan, New York. The eldest of five children, Cheryl is a mentor to her brother, Clarence Wills Jr., who was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, and she is guiding his career as a cartoonist. On March 25, 2011, Cheryl made history as the first journalist invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly Hall for The International Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade where she read passages from her book, Die Free, which was broadcast live around the world on UNTV.

Cheryl is most proud to be the newly designated Commander and Lifetime Descendant Member of the New York Chapter of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Colored Troops - a national organization of Civil War descendants who raise awareness about black soldiers who served during the Civil War. Her book tour has taken her all over the world, including Senegal, West Africa - where she presented her story at the 2011 World Summit of Mayors before an audience of international politicians, dignitaries, and journalists.

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 the marginalized: 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.

Gloria L. Joseph is a committed philanthropist invested in helping to improve the lives of girls and women around the world. Her efforts are concentrated in education, peace building, and advocacy.

Gloria serves as an Ambassador for the President's Leadership Council's Search for Common Ground, the largest NGO in the world, focusing on conflict resolution and peace building. Additionally, her volunteer efforts reach closer to home with her participation as a board member of Child HELP, a program offered by St. John's University to train PhD candidates in psychology to learn and teach the most effective strategies to combat childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

Gloria is also a supporter of the Nobel Women's Initiative, an organization formed by Jody Williams and Shirin Ehabi to organize their fellow female Nobel Peace Laureates to provide guidance in advocacy around the world.

An active member of Women Moving Millions, Gloria, a former CBS TV and Financial News Network anchor and reporter, has moderated panel discussions during WMM's member day at its annual summit.

She has also conducted one-on-one interviews for Women's eNews' production of The Ovary Office, on which women running for political office in the 2020 race are the featured guests.

A graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, with a double major in journalism and environmental science, Gloria spent the bulk of her career in television reporting and anchoring. At 50 years old, she returned to graduate school and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from New School University's Writing Program. She currently resides in Southampton.

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 grassroots 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 her husband Michael Cohen. Their goal was to create effortless fashion that was timeless and comfortable - meant to go with people wherever they went in life. What started with an iconic, one-sized tee that created a fashion movement, has evolved into a collection of wardrobe essentials, crafted with quality and made to last.

As a women-led and family-owned business, Michael Stars continues to produce most of its garments in Los Angeles to ensure quality production, fair wages, and economic opportunity for the community. The Michael Stars Foundation, established by Michael & Suzanne, is a major supporter of grassroots organizations building critical pathways to equality. The company received the Southern California Apparel Social Responsibility Award from the Los Angeles Business Journal, honoring their passion for philanthropy locally and globally.

Born and raised in Chicago, 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 founding, running, and investing in 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. 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 A Call to Men, Prosperity Catalyst, and Children Mending Hearts. She resides in Los Angeles, CA with her #feministpup @ms_simba.

The 2020 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 Loreen Arbus Champion for Disabilities Award - This award pays tribute to a true pioneer in the disabilities community, in honor of humanitarian and activist Loreen Arbus.

· The Rita Henley Jensen Investigative Journalism Award -This award pays tribute to an outstanding female journalist in honor of 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.

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