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, Sheryl Lee 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 as an original cast member of Broadways DREAMGIRLS and because of her concern for the threat HIV/AIDS posed to women and children. In herwork 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.
Sheryl Lee 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, Sheryl Lee designed a successful line of socially consciousred 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.
Ms. Ralph is the producer/creator of the critically acclaimed DIVAS Simply Singing! the longest consecutive running musical HIV/AIDS benefit in the country, celebrating 21 years of artistic AIDS activism Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 in Los Angeles. Visit www.thedivafoundation.org for more information. 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, Sheryl Lee has just completed filming “Christmas in Compton” with Omar Gooding, Eric Roberts and Keith David scheduled for a Christmas 2011 release. Sheryl Lee’s book “Redefining DIVA” was published by Simon & Schuster Spring of 2012. An 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, Sheryl Lee Ralph believes in the power of love!
“Love and happiness is real success!”
Sheryl Lee Ralph