Our first virtual event was an inspiring experience recognizing our amazing honorees and highlighting our vision for a world where everyone has the freedom to control their bodies, lives, and futures.

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

NIRH President Andrea Miller

Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Tekisha Dwan Everette, Ph.D., Health Equity Solutions

Spoken Word Poet Ayanna Albertson

To see the full program, click here.

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FEATURING

Aisha C. Mills
Emcee

Aisha Mills is a seasoned political strategist and social impact advisor with twenty-years of experience working to ensure that our democracy is responsive to, reflective of, and led by the diverse communities that are the fabric of our nation. A nationally respected voice on Democratic politics, she is a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, and is the author of dozens of policy reports and political and cultural analyses published in a range of media outlets. Aisha is also a member of NIRH’s Action Fund Board.

Andrea Miller
President, NIRH and NIRH Action Fund

Andrea Miller is the President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and its Action Fund, which build power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. A nationally recognized expert in reproductive rights and women’s health, Andrea has served for more than two decades in the leadership of and as a consultant to a host of non-profit, advocacy, and philanthropic organizations. Andrea’s leadership in reproductive health and rights stretches back to helping to found the Center for Reproductive Rights. She started her professional career at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. Andrea has a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia College, Columbia University. She is a native of Minnesota.

CHAMPIONS OF CHOICE HONOREES

Marshall Weinberg

PURPOSE Honoree

Marshall Weinberg

Marshall M. Weinberg is passionate about many things, from philosophy to the arts to the environment to reproductive rights. Raised by parents who stressed the importance not only of making the world a better place, but of having a real impact on those in need, Marshall looks for organizations with practical solutions to seemingly intractable problems. “One of the reasons I support the National Institute and the Action Fund is that they look for places where they can make a difference — in states like Texas or North Carolina that pass these terrible laws — and they work hand-in-hand with the people of those states to fight back. They’re not duplicating what’s already there; they are helping build up groups in those states.”
Ayanna Pressley

POWER Honoree

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is an activist, a legislator, a survivor, and the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Throughout her career as a public servant, Congresswoman Pressley has fought to ensure that those closest to the pain are closest to the power – driving and informing policymaking. Throughout her first term in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has been a champion for justice: reproductive justice, justice for immigrants, consumer justice, justice for aging Americans, justice for workers, justice for survivors of sexual violence, and justice for the formerly and currently incarcerated. Prior to being elected to Congress, she served on the Boston City Council for 8 years, and was the first woman of color elected to the council in its 100-year history.
Tekisha Everette

PROGRESS Honoree

Health Equity Solutions, accepted by Tekisha Dwan Everette, Ph.D

Tekisha Dwan Everette, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Health Equity Solutions, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote policies, programs, and practices that result in equitable health care access, delivery, and outcomes for all people in Connecticut. Since 2014, our approach to this work centers the lived experience and voices of racial and ethnic minoritized people and communities in Connecticut. This includes a focus on sexual reproductive health equity, specifically seeking solutions to maternal mortality and comprehensive reproductive care for Black birthing persons in CT. Dr. Tekisha Dwan Everette’s passion for social justice was fueled by her personal experiences and influences as a child, which gave Everette first-hand knowledge of the importance of health and health care access. Everette has built a successful career in public policy, particularly health care policy, and advocacy in the non-profit, state, and private sectors.

HONORARY CHAIRS

Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman

Actress, Writer, Producer, Activist

Amy Brenneman is a widely celebrated, award-winning actress, writer, producer, and activist. She holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard University and is a founding member of the award-winning Cornerstone Theater Company, which specializes in original theater pieces centered on themes of social justice. Amy has extensive credits in theater, film, and TV – including “Judging Amy,” which she also created and executive-produced. She has been widely honored for her activism, including for her ongoing commitment to reproductive rights.
Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Actress, Entrepreneur, Activist

Kate Walsh remains one of the busiest actresses in the industry. With more than two decades of experience, she most recently she appeared in off-Broadway play “If I Forget,” for which she was nominated for a number of awards. Onscreen, Walsh most recently starred in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and “The Umbrella Academy.” Walsh is also widely known for her starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Aside from acting, Walsh has traveled the world with Operation Smile, and has been a strong voice for a variety of issues she cares about, from the fight for women’s rights and reproductive freedom to ocean and marine life conservation.

Dawn Porter

Filmmaker, Producer, Advocate

Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and mental health/social justice advocate, and a leader in the art of storytelling, directing and producing critically acclaimed projects. Porter discovered her passion for filmmaking following her time as an attorney. Her 2016 film “Trapped,” which explores laws regulating abortion clinics in the South, won the Special Jury Social-Impact Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award (to name a few). Porter is a former professor and Head of the Documentary Program at the prestigious UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two children, Eli and Will.

Nancy Silverman

Nancy Silverman

Philanthropist

Margaret Munzer Loeb

Margaret Munzer Loeb

Filmmaker and Philanthropist

Margaret Munzer Loeb’s commitment as a leading philanthropist and passionate advocate for women’s reproductive freedom spans more than twenty years. She served on the boards of the National Institute for Reproductive Health until 2015 and the Center for Reproductive Rights until 2013. She currently serves on the boards of PEN America, Prep for Prep and Ethical Culture Fieldston School and the President’s Advisory Council on the Arts at Brown University, her undergraduate alma mater. Loeb began her career in commercial film production and recently returned to film, founding and managing MML Productions, for which she is currently executive producing and directing a documentary feature film. She earned a Master’s degree from the New York University Silver School of Social Work.

Cindi Leive

Cindi Leive

Journalist and Media Leader

Cindi Leive is a journalist, media leader and co-founder of The Meteor, a feminist media collective that launches in 2021. A cultural critic who appears frequently on TV and live events, she is a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center; the former editor-in-chief of both Glamour and Self magazines; the force behind barrier-breaking initiatives like Glamour Women of the Year and The Girl Project; and the author or producer of numerous books including the 2018 New York Times bestseller Together We Rise, about the making of the Women’s March. Her many awards and honors include recognition from the White House and the United Nations, as well as an Emmy and multiple National Magazine Awards.
Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander

Actress and Activist

Erika Alexander is beloved for the iconic roles of Maxine Shaw (“Living Single”), Detective Latoya (“Get Out”), Perenna (“Black Lightning”), Cousin Pam (“The Cosby Show”) and Linda Diggs (“Wutang: An American Saga”). Erika wears many hats, including actress, entrepreneur, creator, producer and trailblazing activist — an all-around boss. As co-founder of Color Farm Media, and board member for VoteRunLead and One Fair Wage, Erika is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics.
Lola C. West

Lola C. West

Financial Advisor and Change-maker

Lola C. West is a co-founder and partner of WestFuller Advisors, a boutique investment advisory firm in New York City that builds legacies of wealth for individuals, families and institutions. For almost a decade of her successful career, Lola served as a wealth advisor with Merrill Lynch and a senior partner of LWF Wealth Management. Lola is active in the New York City community as a board member for the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI); the New York Women’s Foundation, a charter member of the E. A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and a founding member of the Council African American Art at the Brooklyn Museum. She is also listed In Who’s Who of American Women and is the recipient of the Proclamation “Lola C. West Day” in the City of New York for “exemplary prowess as a health care administrator.”

ENTERTAINMENT:

Private Practice Table Read

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Actress, Entrepreneur, Activist

Kate Walsh remains one of the busiest actresses in the industry. With more than two decades of experience, she most recently she appeared in off-Broadway play “If I Forget,” for which she was nominated for a number of awards. Onscreen, Walsh most recently starred in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and “The Umbrella Academy.” Walsh is also widely known for her starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Aside from acting, Walsh has traveled the world with Operation Smile, and has been a strong voice for a variety of issues she cares about, from the fight for women’s rights and reproductive freedom to ocean and marine life conservation.

Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman

Actress, Writer, Producer, Activist

Amy Brenneman is a widely celebrated, award-winning actress, writer, producer, and activist. She holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard University and is a founding member of the award-winning Cornerstone Theater Company, which specializes in original theater pieces centered on themes of social justice. Amy has extensive credits in theater, film, and TV – including “Judging Amy,” which she also created and executive-produced. She has been widely honored for her activism, including for her ongoing commitment to reproductive rights.
Zainab Jah

Zainab Jah

Actress

Zainab Jah is a beautiful British/African actress who has starred opposite Lupita Nyong’o in “Eclipsed” on Broadway and made history as one of the first Black women to take on the title role in “Hamlet.” Zainab is one of the stars in the award-winning and critically acclaimed feature film “Farewell Amor” which appeared in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, she played Harriet Tubman opposite Ethan Hawke in the Showtime series “The Good Lord Bird.” Zainab also stars in the EPIX series, “Deep State” and played a pivotal arc on the hit series “Homeland”. She will soon be seen in the HULU feature film “False Positive” with Pierce Brosnan and Justin Theroux. Zainab performed the title role of Lena in Athol Fugard’s “Boesman and Lena” at the Signature Theater receiving rave reviews and a Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best Leading Actress.
Alysia Reiner

Alysia Reiner

Actress and Producer

Alysia Reiner is best know as “FIG” on seven seasons of “Orange is the New Black,” and won a SAG AWARD as part of the incredible cast. You can also catch her as Sunny on all 4 seasons of Peabody Award-winning “Better Things” on F/X x HULU, and Kiki Rains on HBO’s “The Deuce.” She loves working as a change maker for women. As an advocate for women’s rights & climate change initiatives, she is on the global advisory board of TIMES UP, on the board and an ambassador for GDIM, and started eco-fashion initiative, Livari. Alysia has been invited to speak and keynote at The White House, The United Nations, Google, Cannes Lion, Women’s Media Summit, Collision, and countless film festivals and other events about breaking barriers for women in all fields, specifically the entertainment industry.

David Alan Basche

Actor and Producer

David Alan Basche has worked with directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Greengrass, Shawn Levy, Robert Zemeckis, and Michael Patrick King, among others. You might know him from his 5 seasons playing the lead role of the hilariously neurotic dentist Dr. Stuart Gardner on “The Exes” on TV Land.

You’ve also seen him in TV shows like “Lipstick Jungle,” “The Starter Wife,” “Bull,” “Bluff City Law,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Elementary,” “Person of Interest,” “CSI: Miami” (he was their very first villain!), “Blue Bloods,” “Chicago PD,” “Blindspot” and many more. He’s also somewhat notorious for doing “the crab” on the floor for Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin in “30 Rock.”

In films, David called the title fight with Hugh Jackman and a 12 foot robot, chased Matt Damon all over New York City, stole Tom Cruise’s wife, flirted with Julia Roberts, married and divorced Debra Messing, and portrayed passenger Todd Beamer (famous for his last words of “let’s roll”) in Universal’s Oscar winning film “United 93.”

You can now see David in the film “EGG,” a comedy he made with his wife, actress Alysia Reiner. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, etc – they produced it together and starred in it together, and somehow despite that they stayed married.

Cait Cortelyou

Cait Cortelyou

Actress, Producer, and Activist

Cait Cortelyou is an actress, an award-winning producer, and a women’s rights activist with Planned Parenthood and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. She is the creator, producer, and star of the award-winning feature film “Ask for Jane,” based on the true story of an underground abortion network in the 1960s. Her TV credits include Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick,” CBS’s “Bull,” and the upcoming season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Cait holds a Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she graduated with honors a year and a half early.

SPOKEN WORD POET

Ayanna Albertson

Ayanna Albertson

Writer and Spoken Word Poet

Ayanna Albertson is a writer and spoken word poet from North Carolina. In 2015, Ayanna received her BA in broadcast journalism from Oakwood University, further investing into her passion for creative writing. Ayanna is a part of the Bull City Slam team and has participated in various national poetry competitions using her gift of words in order to impact, empower and inspire others. She’s been crowned the Bull City Grand Slam Champion for three consecutive years, and after competing against 93 poets at the 2020 Women of the World Poetry slam, Ayanna was ranked 2nd best woman slam poet in the world. Ayanna is very passionate about “a(rt)dvocacy,” including women’s rights, and the advancement and liberation of the black community. Last year, Ayanna found a new joy and platform on TikTok, where she garnered over 300,000 followers and millions of views. While her words have become a viral sensation, Ayanna’s motto for her life’s work is “I don’t wish to be famous, I just want to be heard.”

EVENT SPONSORS

As of 4/29/21

Ruby
Margaret Munzer Loeb · Nancy Silverman 

Trailblazer
Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson · Bob Fertik and Antonia Stolper · Audrey and Martin D. Gruss · Audrey and Jeff Spiegel · Sharon Weinberg

Illuminary
Laurie Campbell · Cynthia Green Colin and Patricia Green · Jill Lafer · Lara Marcon · Christine C. Quinn

Visionary
Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir · Caroline Hirsch · Abigail and David Schumer · Dolores M. Smith · Mila Tuttle

Defender
Anonymous Donor · Kathleen McHugh · Pandia Health

Protector
Donna L. Bascom · Debra Cooper · Sophia Danenberg · Antoinette Danvers · Roxanne Donovan · Dana Golding · Daniel Gonzales · Sarah Kovner · Raquel and Lear Levin · Amy and Steve Lipin · Linda and Stuart Nelson · Fiona and Eric Rudin · Leonard and Allison Stern · Marcie Stuchin · Diane and Craig Solomon · Maria Vullo · Susi Wunsch

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
CHAMPIONS OF CHOICE 2019

2021 CHAMPIONS OF CHOICE
VIRTUAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

Lara Marcon, Chair
Kathleen McHugh
Susan McPherson
Abigail Schumer
Diane Solomon
Audrey Spiegel

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BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

National Institute for Reproductive Health

Sharon Weinberg, Chair
Raquel Levin, Treasurer
Dolores Smith, Secretary
Maria Vullo, ex officio
Jill Braufman
Antoinette Danvers, MD
Kathleen McHugh
Laura Scheuer
Abigail Schumer
Nancy Silverman, emerita
Audrey Spiegel

National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund

Maria Vullo, Chair
Shirley Gordon, Treasurer
Bob Fertik, Secretary
Sharon Weinberg, ex officio
Donna L. Bascom
Kimberly Chirls
Debra Cooper
Sophia Danenberg
Daniel Gonzales
Robert Jaffe
Sarah Kovner
Gabriela D. Lemus, Ph.D.
Raquel Levin
Aisha C. Mills
Nathalie Molina Niño
Christine C. Quinn