SWV has solidified themselves as the architects of modern R&B with a sound and aesthetic that laid the foundation for musicians to come. They are one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, selling over 30 million records.
2023 marks the 30th year anniversary of the release of their seminal debut album, the three times platinum, It’s About Time. It produced beloved singles like Weak, I’m So Into You and Right Here, which all charted top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gave them their first Grammy nomination (Best New Artist).
SWV’s follow-up albums New Beginning and Release Some Tension solidified their status as R&B legends with singles like You’re The One and Rain again topping the charts.After their 2021 Verzuz battle, SWV is more in demand now than ever.
Sunny Hostin is a three-time Emmy Award-winning legal journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and co-host of The View. In May 2021, Hostin released her debut novel, "Summer on the Bluffs" (William Morrow), which skyrocketed to #11 on The New York Times Bestseller List and is the first book in her “Summer” trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, “Summer on Sag Harbor,” is set to be released on May 2, 2023. In the fall of 2020, Hostin released her memoir, “I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds,” with HarperOne. Hostin has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Woman, Essence, Newsweek, The New York Post, Latina, and Ebony. A sought-after public speaker, she has delivered a TEDxTalk called “A Possibility Model” and spoken at and moderated panels for the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and the National Bar Association, and served as a witness at the Federal Judiciary’s Congressional Hearing for the Public’s Right of Access to the Courts. Hostin lives with her husband and two children in New York.
Bronx-born Juliet Papa is an award-winning reporter for 1010WINS Radio AM/ 92.3FM, the most listened to all -news station in the nation, and throughout her career she has stayed true to her Bronx roots. Juliet has covered New York City’s triumphs and tragedies and big and breaking news in every borough. Her prestige assignments have sent her to Rome to cover the election of the Pope, and Washington DC to cover the election of a President. But it always comes back to the Bronx. In March of this year she hosted a 1010 WINS Spotlight event highlighting the borough’s business and cultural offerings. She has emceed the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Women’s Scholarship Luncheon for many years. She grew up blocks from Yankee Stadium and covers Opening Day – and she’s ready to cover another World Series. Juliet is a published book author, The Mafia Handbook, and Ladykiller. She’s written for the New York Times and Readers’ Digest Magazine. She had a bit part in a movie with Bronx-born Al Pacino, and recently voiced the part of Edna Stengel in the best-selling book, Casey Stengel, Baseball’s Greatest Character. She is the recipient of numerous news-related awards, and the CUNY/ Queens College President’s Award. Juliet performs in the Inner Circle, a political/ musical parody show to raise money for local charities , and she’s in the “broadcast booth” for the annual Artists/Writers charity softball game on Long Island. Juliet previously hosted the Bronx Ball, but she is humbled and thrilled to now be a recipient of this special honor. She congratulates her fellow honorees and is grateful for everything her Bronx-born parents taught her. You can take the girl out of the Bronx, but you can’t take the Bronx out of the girl. On Twitter /Instagram @winsjuliet
Throughout her career, God-is has been a strategic executive who is responsible for better serving and engaging diverse communities through digital channels all around the world through brand marketing, campaigns with partners, and events and experiences. As a proud Black American woman hailing from the Bronx, NY, she is passionate about pairing an authentic community care approach with inclusive, culturally fluent marketing, community-integrated product and policy evolution and cultural insights to show there is value in all communities, and that they deserve to be recognized, respected and rewarded—not counted out.
As a marketing executive at Twitter for over 4 years culminating in 2022, she drove strategy to make sure that campaigns and programs were connective, inclusive and reflective of the communities Twitter served. Externally, she both established and built on Twitter's work in developing relationships and programs with community leaders, content partners, influencers, creators, partners and brands.
Prior to joining Twitter in 2018, God-is was Director, Inclusion & Cultural Resonance for VMLY&R. In this newly created role she focused on bridging strategic inclusive marketing and strategy with internal processes and policies to foster an equitable environment at the agency, and produce inclusive work outputs. Earlier, she held lead channel strategy roles at VMLY&R, global agency iCrossing, and Austin-based T3.
God-is has been profiled in digital trade publications Adweek, Ad Age, Marie Claire, Forbes, Digiday, Fortune, Campaign US, and The Drum. In 2018 she was named an Ad Age “Woman to Watch” and Adweek “Disruptor” for continuing to fight for representation and equity in the advertising industry. In 2020 God-is was recognized for her work at Twitter amplifying historically marginalized voices as #28 on the Root 100 Most Influential African-Americans list, BET’s Top 100 Most Innovative and Influential Business Executives, and by Fortune Magazine on their esteemed 40 Under 40 list of influential people in the technology category. In 2023 she was recognized by ColorComm as one of the influential 28 Black Women in Communications “Making History Now”.
In October of 2022 God-is joined The Walt Disney Co. as their first VP, Inclusive Marketing across all Disney streaming platforms and networks including content and IP across ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ where she is tasked with developing and leading strategies to connect with diverse audiences and amplify inclusive content.
God-is resides in the greater New York City area with her husband and daughter.
(People's Choice Award in Education Recipient)
Luis Eladio Torres was born and raised in the Bronx. He spent his childhood in the Soundview section and has lived in the Bronx all his life. For almost all of his 52 years of existence, he has dedicated himself to the community and education. As the son of a superintendent, Luis Angel Torres, of two buildings, he developed a strong work ethic and commitment to community. Torres's has a Whole Community Education approach, with a focus on improving the conditions of the environments our children live in. He has a unique connection with this community because he is a product of the New York City public school system as well as the Bronx. As mentioned earlier, Torres's father, an apartment building superintendent and a community organizer, raised him to be a leader in the community and to give back. When his father passed away, Torres made a commitment to continue the work his father started. Torres lives in the Bronx with his wife, Joan Torres, and their three children, who have all attended or are attending district schools. His mother, Elizabeth Torres, continues to live in the Bronx, on the block, Elder and Watson, that was recently named after his father.
After serving in the U.S. Navy for 10 years, Torres earned an Associate's Degree in Biology from Hostos Community College, a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the City College of New York, a Master's Degree in Education from Mercy College, and an Advanced Degree in Administration from Hunter College. He did all of this to prove his high school counselor wrong. The counselor told Torres to join the military because he would never be successful in college. Torres then entered the New York City Leadership Academy, after which he was given the responsibility of leading Community School 55 in the Bronx. Torresand his team are responsible for turning C.S. 55—once the lowest-performing school in New York City, located in District 9 in the center of the Morrisania housing projects in the Bronx—into a model community school. Torres has raised millions of dollars for C.S. 55 and surrounding schools, acting as his school's spokesperson, publicist, and cheerleader. He has trained principals from across the City on how to get the resources they need for their schools. His commitment is not only to his own school, he is dedicated to changing the outcomes for all children across the City and the Bronx.
Luis Eladio Torres is the first Puerto Rican man to be named president of the New York City Elementary School Principals Association, he is the District 9 CSA Executive Board representative, and chairperson of the Bronx Elementary School Principals Consortium. He has served as a school principal in New York City for more than 18 years and has been in education for over 28 years. He completed the prestigious Cahn Fellows program in 2019 and in 2023 was name Angel de Enero by Univision. Over his many years in education, he has received many accolades. He was named Outstanding Young Educator in 2011 by ASCD for the country when Obama was president, in 2013 he became the Dailynews Hometown Hero, 2014 NAACP Outstanding Educator, 2017 Educator of the Year NYLPRW, and 2018 Hostos Community College Trailblazer. He has recorded two TEDx Talks, and finally in 2023 he released his booked titled “The Six Priorities.” People have said, that his work is revolutionizing education and has changed the “education game.”
The Six Priorities is based on Torres’ understanding that for many of our families education is a sixth priority. Food, shelter, safety, health, and access to technology come before education. This is not because our families do not value education, it is because for them, life’s necessities come first. As a leader in education, Torres has created a school that is a model for the country. He has a partnership with Montefiore hospital to provide a nurse, dentist, ophthalmologist, psychologist, and doctor full time on staff. The school is connected with the Green Bronx Machine that provides health and wellness initiatives. They grow their own food, distribute to the community, and teach the children how to cook them. On the third floor, Graham Windham provides ACS preventive services. The school yard has been converted into an amazing soccer stadium, thanks to the efforts of Street Soccer USA. There has been over 23 million dollars in investments to the school in his tenure as principal. In the coming months, CS 55 will have a new auditorium, cafeteria, and through their partnership with Windows of Hip Hop, a state-of-the-art music studio. This music studio will become the window for many of our children to the music industry and more.
During the pandemic, Luis Eladio Torres co-founded with BronxNet, the Bronx Edulution Television Channels. These channels were created to ensure that all children who did not have access to technology would be able to still receive a quality education. The content was created by the community for the community, and it is a clear example of Torres’ visionary approach to education. He created virtual proms, graduations and other ways for schools to be able serve their communities during this challenging time. His efforts are documented in a video by the New York Times. You can also follow his amazing work on social media where he is respectfully known as the “Bronx Principal.”