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50th Anniversary Gala Award Honorees

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the much-anticipated WMG 50th Anniversary Awards, honoring women who embody WMG’s values of community, diversity, and women’s empowerment. A very sincere thanks to all members who submitted nominations and to those who joined the committee that put many hours into thoughtfully making the final selections. 

Champion of Media Award: A woman or organization that has creatively and effectively used any form(s) of media to champion one or more of WMG’s foundational values of equity, education, collaboration, and empowerment.

The Brooklyn Public Library's Books Unbanned initiative, as a symbol of all librarians and libraries committed to the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement. Books Unbanned gives library cards to U.S. teens and young adults to provide access to digital copies of books that may not be available in some communities due to book challenges. Nina Lorez Collins, an author, entrepreneur, and Chair of BPL's Board of Trustees, will accept the award. 

Media Trailblazer Award: A woman or female-focused organization that has broken ground and blazed a trail for other women in the media industry.

Marie Dutton Brown. A 57-year veteran of the publishing industry, Marie is an iconic editor and literary agent, who has been called a “living legend who…paved the way for marginalized writers and editors.” President of her eponymous literary agency in Harlem’s Sugar Hill community, she also devotes her time and expertise to many nonprofit Boards, including Faith Ringgold’s Anyone Can Fly Foundation and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling.

Media Superstar Award: A catalyst in media who is a woman to watch. 

Amber Oliver. Amber won a City University of New York WMG Fellowship in 2015 and is currently Senior Editor at Bloomsbury. Among her accomplishments, she was previously an Editor at Penguin Random House, where she helped launch the Tiny Reparations imprint, which is dedicated to amplifying unique and diverse voices. She was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree in 2019.

Diversity Advocate Award: An organization that has championed diversity and made an impact in the media industry.

We Need Diverse Books. WNDB aims to create a world where every reader can find themselves in the pages of a book. Over the past 10 years, they've created programs to mentor diverse writers and illustrators, support diverse publishing professionals, and provide books to classrooms nationwide. Ellen Oh, an award-winning editor, author, and a Founder of WNDB, will accept the award.

WMG Founders Impact Award: A current or former WMG member who has made a positive impact in their community and is inspirational in their work.

Mary McAveney. President and CEO of Abrams Books, Mary is the first female CEO in Abrams history. She is a long-time WMG member and former Board member. Before Abrams, Mary was the Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Open Road Integrated Media and also worked at several other leading publishers, developing deep expertise across book formats and technologies.

Chandra Turner. Chandra is Founder & CEO of The Talent Fairy, a recruitment agency that focuses on connecting content creators with brands and on career coaching. An alum of Hearst, Meredith, and Scholastic, Chandra has helped innumerable editors pivot into a wide array of roles and is a go-to source for industry knowledge, trends, and her well-known annual editorial hiring reports. A former WMG Board member, Chandra remains active on WMG committees and as a WMG program contributor.

Michele Weisman. Michele is Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Meet the Writers, which she established singlehandedly almost ten years ago. MTW promotes literacy and fosters a love of reading in New York City students by bringing diverse authors and illustrators to Title I schools. MTW has run more than 200 author visits and distributed 20,000+ books.

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