Announces Cheryl Wills as Host of its
Women's eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century
on May 4th in New York City.
to serve as Honorary Gala Chair.
and Suzanne Lerner to serve as Honorary Gala Co-Chairs.
(New York, New York, February 27, 2020 - 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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
She currently resides in
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
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
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.
About Women’s eNews:
for the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century
Awards Gala include: Loreen Arbus, Abigail Disney,
Lauren Embrey, Suzanne Lerner, Carol Jenkins, Eve Ensler,
Pat Mitchell, NYS Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul,
Nobel Prize Recipient Leymah Gbowee, former President
of Ireland Mary Robinson, and many other prominent
Women’s eNews reports the stories of women and girls to
create a more equitable world.
A world that honors, respects, and supports the lives of
women and girls.
To uphold the values of journalism by seeking the truth and
reporting it, acting independently, and minimizing harm with
accountability and transparency.
What We Do:
Women’s eNews is an award-winning nonprofit news service
covering issues of particular concern to women and providing
women’s perspectives on public policy. With writers and
readers around the globe, Women’s eNews’ audience stretches
from New York City to New Delhi and all points between,
reaching an estimated 2.5 million readers each year.
editors seek out freelance writers from around the world to
write on every topic from politics, religion, economics,
health, and science, to sustainability, education, sports,
and legislation. Women’s eNews relies on the best practices
of journalism and has gained enormous credibility by
providing factual journalism every day.
For tickets or more information about the
2020 Women's eNews 21 Leaders
for the 21st Century Gala contact: