GWEN Luminary Awards

Shining a Light on Compassion and Contribution

Our annual GWEN Luminary Awards celebrates individuals who are making a difference in the world through acts of kindness, leadership, mentorship, community building, and human rights activism.

Please celebrate these significant recipients of the GWEN Global Luminary Awards

Media Contact: Tess Cacciatore

9th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards

Alex Riggs
Alex is “boots on the ground” anti-trafficking and child rescue.

Athena was the canine Search And Rescue for Alex for 8 years and was an intricate part of child rescue.

Dani Bowman

Dani is an Award-Winning Animation company owner, “Dani-Mation” to teach youth on the spectrum training for animation.
Dani is also one of the stars of Netflix shows, “Love on the Spectrum.”

Freda Payne

Freda is an American singer and actress. She is best known for her career in music during the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s. Her most notable record is her 1970 hit single “Band of Gold”.

Julia Boorstin

Julia is an American news correspondent, reporter and author. Since 2006, Boorstin has been reporter and the Senior Media & Tech Correspondent for CNBC, focussing on new media and technology.

Bryan Crain

Bryan (President and CEO) managing operations and student residential programs at all Orange County Rescue Mission sites and properties, which now serves hundreds of people each month in multiple locations.

Gloria Vando-Hickok

Gloria has dedicated her life to creative is an award-winning poet/writer and founder of Helicon 9 magazine in 1970’s.

Max Alexander

Max is the “Edith Head Protege” Award Honoree for his costume and dress designer at the tender age of 8. 

Max’s brand @CoutureToTheMax has garnered celebrity and global status.

8th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards
Dedicated to the Peace Advocates of the World

Priscilla “Scilla” Elworthy

Scilla is a peace builder, and the founder of the Oxford Research Group, a non-governmental organisation she set up in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize

Arte Kornfeld
(GWEN Legendary Music Award

Arthur Lawrence Kornfeld is an American musician, record producer, and music executive. He is best known as the music promoter for the Woodstock Festival held in 1969.
Woodstock was produced with peace-initiatives in mind. 

Dr. Patrick Porter

Dr. Porter is the Founder & CEO of BrainTap. His unwavering passion for understanding the intricacies of the brain has fueled his mission to enhance lives through the power of neuroplasticity. 

Jeremy Gilley

Jeremy is the Founder of Peace One Day in 2004.
Jeremy is an English actor, filmmaker and founder of the nonprofit organization “Peace One Day.”

Sheva Carr

Sheva is a founding member of Heart Ambassadors, a capacity building organizations for world servers and an official training company for the Federation of International Civil Servants (FICSA).  And in her role as Co-Vice President and UN Delegate Leader for United Nations Peace Messenger Organization Pathways To Peace

Dorothy Lee Donahue

Dorothy is dedicated to serving her clients for healing for the past 3 decades.

Dorothy is also the Executive Producer of “The Life Changes Show” which has been on-going since 2003.

7th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards

Kodi Lee
Kodi Taehyun Lee is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and savant. Legally blind and autistic, Kodi Lee rose to fame after being a contestant, and ultimately the winner of the 14th season of America’s Got Talent. 

Melissa Manchester
GWEN Legendary Music Award

Melissa is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Since the 1970s, her songs have been played by adult contemporary radio stations. She has also appeared on television, in films, and on stage.

Dr. KadijatuGrace Kamara

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs| Certified Life/Transformational Coach & Psychologist| Author and Entrepreneur.

Freddie Ravel
Freddie Ravel is an American keyboardist, keynote speaker, author, composer and recording artist. Ravel served as the musical director as well as composer, producer and concert touring keyboardist of the band Earth, Wind & Fire.

Pink Lady
AKA Jackie Goldberg

Pink Lady, dynamic Jackie Goldberg, started reinventing herself at 72 by creating seminars called, “Get Up, Get Out, & Get a Life!” to encourage people over 60 to follow new paths to enhance their lives.

Pink Lady (in 2024 is 91) began appearing in stage plays and commercials, a Loctite Super Bowl Commercial, and the 2019 Music Video of the Year, “You Need to Calm Down,” with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

Eden Alpert

Eden is partner and co-owner of Vibrato Jazz Bar & Grill with her famous musician father, Herb Alpert. 
Eden is a philanthropist and sits on four board of directors: the Concern Foundation, Vista Del Mar, OmniPeace Foundation and the Alesia Alpert Foundation.

Daphne Ziman

Daphna Edwards Ziman, is the President and Co-Chairman of Cinémoi, a network devoted to film, fashion, and lifestyle. She is  a philanthropist, known internationally and in the Halls of Power in Washington, D.C. for her work on behalf of at-risk and foster children.

Kellie Whitton

Based on her own personal experience of healing from cancer, Kellie founded CaraKit, a non-profit and e-commerce company supporting women going through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. 

6th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards

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Lordes Lane

Lordes is the Founder of Super You Fun-Dation that is dedicated to youth for empowerment and finding their own Super Hero within. 
Lordes is also the creator and star of the award-winning Broadway bound musical called, “Super You!”

Sue Smart

Sue is the very first GWEN GOLDEN GAL, and was the inspiration behind this award, to honor our SAGE women of the world. 
Sue was also a Country Singer who toured North America with her husband Del, including Nashville’s Opryland.

Erin Toppenberg

Erin is the co-founder of The Water Bearers, which is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing clean water solutions to remote areas of the world. 
The Water Bearers is also a strategic partner of GWEN. 

Jane Brinton

Jane is the co-founder of the Water Bearers. 

Jane has also an extensive career in the music industry. Jane started the first mobile discotheques in America and founded a successful music promotion and management company, working with many high-profile clients, including Madonna, quickly earning her a reputation as an industry insider.

Ruhi Hak

Ruhi is the founder of a humanitarian program “Hope B Lit” which services India and beyond with humanitarian aid through filmmaking. 

Hope B Lit is a fiscally-sponsored program under GWEN.

5th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards

Dionne Warwick

GWEN Music Legendary Award

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, actress, and television host. Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest U.S. hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart. She is the second-most charted female vocalist during the rock era.

Cat Cora

Catherine Ann Cora is an American professional chef, television personality, business person, and cookbook author. She is best known for her featured role as an “Iron Chef” on Iron Chef America and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates.
She is also the founder of Chefs for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger. 

Verdine White

GWEN Music Legendary Music Award

Verdine Adams White is an American musician, best known as a founding member and bassist for the band Earth, Wind & Fire. White was placed at No. 19 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time.

Sonita Alizadeh
Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper and activist who has been vocal against forced marriages. Alizadeh first gained attention when she released “Brides for Sale,” a video in which she raps about daughters being sold into marriage by their families.

Bongos Ikwue
African GWEN Legendary Music Award.

Bongos Ikwue is a Nigerian singer and song writer born on the 6th of June 1942 in Otukpo, Benue state. He attended St Pauls Secondary School, Zaria and Okene Comprehensive Secondary School where he formed his first band- the Cubana Boys.

Dame Julie Okah-Donli

Julie Okah-Donli is a Nigerian lawyer, chartered secretary and administrator, who served as the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, an agency established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2003 to tackle human trafficking and other related matters.

Dr Elisha Attai

Dr. Elisha Attai is  President/Founder of the African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) and the initiator/organizer of the famed African Women in Leadership Conference (AWLC), a global movement of Women of African descent changing the narratives of leadership in the world..

2 Face Idibia AKA 2 Baba

Innocent Ujah Idibia MON, known by his stage name 2Baba and formerly as 2face Idibia, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, record producer and philanthropist known for his solo debut album, Face 2 Face.

4th Annual GWEN Luminary Awards
All honorees this year were from Phoenix Arizona

Cary Pena

Cary is an Emmy-winning Journalist, Content Creator & Host. Posting mostly about inspiration.
Founder @inspiredmedia360
Co-Founder @centerforpositivemedia

Lea Marquez Peterson

Lea is an American politician serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission since 2019. Peterson was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to replace Andy Tobin following his appointment as Director of the Arizona Department of Administration.

Dena Patton
Dena has been a global speaker, best selling author and business coach since 2001 who works with leaders, entrepreneurs and world changers to help them create GREAT businesses & become GREAT leaders. She is deeply passionate about people living, loving and leading from their greatness and experiencing their greatest potential.

Lori Goldberg

Lori is Founder and President of Global Family Philanthropy & Chicks4Children shares with Inspired Media 360 how she lives and works with inspiration.

Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Friends of Africa International, where they service entrepreneurship and education in Kenya.

3rd Annual GWEN Luminary Awards

Annalynne McCord

Actress| Human Rights Activist | Founder THELOVESTORM | Anti Human-Trafficking Ambassador

Joni Mitchell

Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell CC is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and painter. She is widely considered one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.

Lizzie Sider

In late 2013, Lizzie created a bully prevention assembly for elementary and middle school students, that combines anti-bullying, positivity and encouragement, and music. In October 2013, Sider began her “Nobody Has The Power To Ruin Your Day” Tour, and in the 2013–2014 academic year she toured 250 schools throughout the states of California, Florida, and Texas, and visited with over 100,000 students.

Brenda Brown

Is the creator of Brenda Brown Entertainment for her work in music and social media.

Brenda received an “Appreciation Award” as a Founding Board Member of GWEN since 2012. 

Kat Larson Pitt Entrepreneur Star Award

Kat was a recipient of a GWEN Award after receiving an entrepreneur certification from a GWEN workshop. She lived in Hope Gardens at the time, until she began her own company and moved back into a home & sober living. 
Kat began her own cleaning company for recording studios. 

Gina Abdullah Entrepreneur Star Award

Gina also went through the entrepreneur certification with GWEN and continued to create crochet items for sale, so that she could move out of Hope Gardens to her new life. 

Building Our GWEN Awards

In 2017 we honored Ramaha Sadau at our film festival during the Commission on the Status of Women.
After this year, we saw the significance of honoring the people who are making a difference in the world, which inspired us to build the awards throughout the years. 
In 2016 we honored Fran Drescher for the 1st GWEN Luminary Award at the inaugural event through her event Cancer Schmancer.

Raham Sadau
2nd Annual GWEN Award
Rahama Ibrahim Sadau is a Nigerian actress, filmmaker, and singer. Born and raised in Kaduna, she performed in dancing competitions as a child and during her school years.
She became an advocate for early child marriage and fistula surgeries. 

Fran Drescher
1st Annual GWEN Award
Francine Joy Drescher is an American actress, comedian, writer, activist. 
Fran began Cancer Schmancer in 2000 and is dedicated to the education and prevention of cancer.