Cheryl Wills is a veteran anchor for Spectrum News NYl-she joined the cable network during its launch in 1992. She is the primetime anchor for NY1 Live at Ten and she’s also the host of the public affairs talk show In Focus with Cheryl Wills. In 2018, Cheryl became the first African-American reporter in NY1’s history to win an Emmy Award.
The award-winning journalist is the author of three books about her great-great-great grandfather Sandy Wills who fought in The Civil War: "Die Free: A Heroic
Family Tale”, an illustrated children's book "The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills" and a YA book "Emancipated: My Family's Fight/or Freedom." Cheryl has been invited to do readings of her Emancipation Series to tens of thousands of students across the country.
She is currently working on a groundbreaking book called “25 Women Who Changed Gospel”.
Cheryl has interviewed some of the most powerful people in the world including the first woman president of Africa: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. Cheryl's groundbreaking report earned her a prestigious medal from United Nations Correspondents Association. She also scored an exclusive interview with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Cheryl's personal favorite was going one-on-one with the late great writer and activist Maya Angelou.
In March of 2018, Cheryl was honored with the prestigious Commander’s Medal from the U.S. Department of the Army: The Public Service Commendation Medal is the fourth highest public service decoration the United States Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian.
Cheryl has also received awards from The New York Press Club, The Newswomen's Club of NY Front Page Award, and The Associated Press. In 2017, The Association of Social Studies Teachers I UFT awarded Cheryl Wills The Rosa Parks Award for Social Justice for "illuminating the struggle for Black equality from The Civil War to present." In 2017, Cheryl also received the Dr. Martin Luther King Award from three prominent Jewish organizations at The Israeli Consulate for bridging the gap between African Americans and Jews. In 2017, City & State Magazine honored Cheryl as one of New York’s most remarkable women. In 2010, McDonald's honored her as a broadcasting legend. In 2015 McDonald's again honored her with the first ever, Harold Dow Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of extraordinary and unparalleled contributions to broadcast media.
Cheryl also has been featured in a number of major television shows and movies including Ghostbusters: Answer The Call (2016); she can be seen in numerous episodes of Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Limitless (CBS), The Strain (FX), Freedom land with Samuel Jackson, The Brave One with Jodie Foster and numerous other stage and film productions.
Cheryl Wills was the first journalist invited to address the General Assembly of The United Nations about the impact of slavery on her family during the UN's International Remembrance of Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Cheryl takes great pride in being the Founder and Commander of The New York State Chapter of the Sons & Daughters of the United States Colored Troops, a national organization based in Washington D.C. She enjoys teaching students about the contributions of the 200,000 black soldiers who fought valiantly during The Civil War
Cheryl Wills is a graduate of The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, with a major in Broadcast Journalism. She received an Honorary Doctorate from New York College of Health Professions in May of 2005.
Keynote Speaker | Speaker