Sheryl Lee Ralph Honored With BWHI Vanguard Award for Championing Black Women’s Health


by Veracity Savant

September 22, 2023

Sheryl Lee Ralph is a beloved singer and Emmy award-winning actress who has dedicated her career to empowering and uplifting others. A staple on television screens over the decades, Ralph has also made a name for herself off the screen, presented with the Order of Jamaica last year from her home country, donating $1.5 million to public schools, and being named as a member of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2024.

Throughout her illustrious career, Ralph has remained humble, lending her voice and platform to many causes. And now one organization is honoring her in a major way. 

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) named Ralph as a recipient of their 2023 Vanguard Award, reports Black Enterprise. The award comes on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the organization, acknowledging those who raise awareness and use their platforms to amplify the “health issues negatively affecting women of color.”


Ralph has partnered with BWHI over the years to fight back against health disparities facing Black women — including maternal health, mental health access and education, and diagnosis deficits.

Set to be honored alongside Ralph is Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts. While Ralph has used her fame as a veteran entertainer to address health equity issues, Roberts has also used her unique platform as a religious leader to help inspire women through the lens of faith.

“Join us in celebrating Sarah Jakes Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph as they receive the 2023 BWHI Vanguard Award, acknowledging their outstanding service, inspirational journeys, and unwavering commitment to the well-being of Black women and girls,” said the organization in a statement. 


The award ceremony will take place at BWHI’s 40 Years of Loving Black Women “homecoming” events. The events will span various cities from Atlanta to Washington, DC, Detroit and Boston and feature educational resources, health and wellness guides aimed at women of color, and various interactive events. 

The events will take place from September 22 through October 20.

Ralph and Roberts will receive their 2023 BWHI Vanguard Awards in September. 


Photo by Joe Seer / Shutterstock

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