Sheryl Lee Ralph: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Award-winning Actress, Activist, & Author

Original Dreamgirl, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a Tony Award nominated actress (Dreamgirls), Independent Spirit Award winner (To Sleep with Anger) and honored HIV/AIDS activist. Ralph’s award winning body of work in film (Distinguished Gentleman with Eddie Murphy, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Sister Act 2 with Whoppi Goldberg), television, (Moesha, Designing Women, ER) and the Broadway stage includes originating and creating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in Dreamgirls.

A passionate AIDS activist, Ralph is founding Director of The Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware (DIVA) Foundation. The DIVA Foundation founded in 1990 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, created as a living memorial to the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS from her years on Broadway and because of her concern for the threat HIV/AIDS posed to women and children. In her work of Driving Infectious Viruses Away, the foundation focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness, testing, erasing stigma, lowering of the HIV infection rate especially as it pertains to women, girls and young people and the development of new and effective programs to combat the disease using the arts. The foundation disseminates information, and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically artistic feminine point of view.

Ralph was awarded the first Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her unique use of the arts in HIV/AIDS activism. Rich in creativity and spirit, she designed a successful line of socially conscious red ribbon T-shirts which offer responsible messages in style and beauty. She has received Doctorates in Humane Letters from Tougaloo College and Huston-Tillotson University in recognition of her AIDS activism.

Ralph is the producer/creator of the critically acclaimed DIVAS Simply Singing! the longest consecutive running musical HIV/AIDS benefit in the country, celebrating more than 20 years of artistic AIDS activism. She has added the critically acclaimed one-woman show Sometimes I Cry, written, directed and performed by Ralph herself, about the lives, loves, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to her list of outstanding credits. Performed around the world, Sometimes I Cry touches the heart leaving audiences deeply moved and encouraged to know their HIV status.

A popular commentator on HLN’s ShowBiz Tonight, Ralph has also appeared in Christmas in Compton with Omar Gooding, Eric Roberts and Keith David. Ralph’s book Redefining DIVA: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl reveals her take on her supposed feuds with Diana Ross and Jennifer Holliday, on auditioning for Sidney Poitier, on why she exited so controversially from the TV series Moesha, and how she signed away her rights to Dreamgirls for a dollar. She uses her life story to illustrate her vision: black, white, or any other color of the rainbow, a true Diva is a person of strength, character, and a beauty that radiates from within. Not just a memoir, Redefining Diva and her presentations inspire every audience to examine the potential in their own life.

Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she holds the distinction of being the first and youngest female graduate of Rutgers College (RU) at the age of 19. Mother of two and happily married to Senator Vincent Hughes, Ralph believes in the power of love!

Interested in booking Sheryl Lee Ralph to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

  • Driving Infectious Viruses Away: My Work with HIV/AIDS Awareness
  • Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl

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