Annual Gala Champions of Choice 2023



Champions of Choice is one of New York City’s premiere reproductive rights events and is attended by more than 500 prominent leaders in philanthropy, business, media, and politics.  Join us as we share how we are working to create a future with equitable and just access to reproductive health care, including abortion, across the country.

2023 Champions of choice awards luncheon

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Ziegfeld Ballroom, 141 W. 54th Street, NYC




Actress, Activist, and Entrepreneur

Sophia Bush Hughes is an American actress, activist, and entrepreneur. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has starred in an impressive range of television and film projects such as the hit comedy John Tucker Must Die, Incredibles 2, One Tree Hill, Dick Wolf’s Chicago PD, Hulu’s Love, Victor, and NBC’s This Is Us.  Throughout her career thus far, Bush has earned multiple Teen Choice Awards in the categories of “Choice Movie Actress: Comedy,” “Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller,” and “Choice Movie: Breakout Female.”

Named one of the most charitable celebrities by CNN, Sophia devotes her free time to bettering girl’s education and the environment. She inspires millions as she uses her personal platform and social media influence to raise awareness and funds for great causes. 

In 2019, Bush partnered with Jane Walker, a sister brand of Johnnie Walker, and has been active with bringing forward more firsts for women within the entrepreneurial industry. Bush also co-founded and sits on the board for I am a voter® which is a nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate. In 2021, Sophia joined Fashionkind as a co-founder and member of the advisory board. She works alongside founder and CEO Nina Farran to produce ethical and environmentally friendly luxury fashion from around the world. Most recently, Bush and her business partner Nia Batts joined the First Women’s Bank as Strategic Advisors alongside Billie Jean King.


Activist, Actor, Host and Founder of the I Weigh Movement

Jameela Jamil is a one-of-a-kind multi-hyphenate who works as an actress, writer, host, and activist. Jameela was first seen on American television starring as Tahani in Mike Schur’s Golden Globe-nominated NBC sitcom The Good Place, opposite Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. The Good Place went on to win Critics’ Choice Television, AFI, Peabody and Television Critics Association awards. Jameela is the host of all three seasons of the TBS game show The Misery Index and served as one of the judges for three seasons of HBO Max’s hit competition show, Legendary. In 2022, Jameela officially joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she originated the first on-screen role of the Marvel villain Titania in the series She Hulk: Attorney at Law, currently streaming on Disney+. 

Off-screen, Jameela is a powerful mental health activist. In 2018, Jameela launched a movement and allyship platform called I Weigh — a platform and community of change makers who come together to share ideas, experiences and ultimately mobilize activism; exploring social issues that stem from mental health to climate change to the representation of marginalized groups. I Weigh publishes original content featuring interviews, editorial stories, BTS, mini docs, round-table discussions, informational assets and more across Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. 

In April 2020, the I Weigh with Jameela Jamil podcast launched with Earwolf in which Jameela speaks to a variety of thought-leaders, performers, activists, influencers, and friends about their own experiences and stories with their mental health. With hilarious and vulnerable conversations, I Weigh amplifies and empowers diverse voices in an accessible way to celebrate progress, not perfection. The podcast has featured guests such as Gloria Steinem, Reese Witherspoon, Jane Fonda, Billy Porter, Demi Lovato, Tarana Burke and Alok Vaid-Menon to name a few. 


Stand-up Comedian, Writer, Producer, Publisher and Actress

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer, publisher and actress. She is the creator, star and executive producer of the Freeform comedy “Everything’s Trash,” which is based off her book of the same name. Her previous book You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain was a New York Times bestseller.  She is the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast turned HBO series “2 Dope Queens” and other critically acclaimed podcasts including “Sooo Many White Guys” and “Black Frasier.” Additionally, Phoebe starred in the films “Ibiza” and “What Men Want,” and was a moderator for Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour where she interviewed the former first lady across the globe. In 2019, Phoebe launched Tiny Reparations, a production company under ABC Signature, whose first series “Doing the Most with Phoebe Robinson,” premiered April 2021 on Comedy Central. In 2021, Phoebe published her third book of essays Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes, which quickly became an indie national bestseller and the inaugural title from her imprint, Tiny Reparations Books, which champions writers of color. Her debut hour comedy special, “Sorry, Harriet Tubman,” premiered in October 2021 on HBO Max.’ Recently Phoebe was given the Innovator in Comedy award by Variety Magazine alongside names like Chelsea Handler and Patton Oswalt for her continued work in comedy. 


The Amplify Georgia Collaborative works to protect and expand access to abortion care across Georgia through collaborative, proactive campaigns at the state and local level. Our campaigns provide education, produce policy wins, shift the narrative around abortion and build the power of communities most impacted by abortion restrictions. 


Established in 1972, The Women’s Centers (TWC) is a group of independent abortion providers serving CT at Hartford GYN Center, GA at Atlanta Women’s Center, NJ at Cherry Hill Women’s Center, and PA at Delaware County Women’s Center and Philadelphia Women’s Center. TWC is dedicated to providing the highest level of abortion care and reproductive health services, particularly for those facing the most significant barriers and for those who need care later in pregnancy. To build understanding of the complexity of abortion and to protect and expand access to care, TWC trains clinicians in abortion provision, participates in critical research, facilitates educational and volunteer opportunities, and fights legal battles on behalf of their patients and communities. TWC unifies their beliefs in justice and equitable access to care by working with their communities to build a better future for all.


Mila Atmos

Host and Executive Producer, FUTURE HINDSIGHT podcast

Mila Atmos, a global citizen based in New York City, is the producer and series host of Future Hindsight, a weekly podcast that aims to spark civic engagement through in-depth conversations with citizen changemakers. What most informs Mila’s worldview is her belief that citizen participation is fundamental to a thriving democracy. Mila combines life experiences from living in multiple cultures ranging from Indonesia to Germany to the rural U.S. with her knowledge base in history, economics, and international affairs (B.A. & M.I.A. Columbia University) in creating Future Hindsight.

RanIa Batrice

Political, Policy and Advocacy strategist

Rania Batrice is the founder and President of Batrice and Associates and a partner at the Win Company, first generation American, and a dual Israeli citizen with Palestinian emigre parents – is a top Democratic operative with over two decades of experience who has risen to the top of American progressive politics, policy and advocacy, with a combination of dogged perseverance and clear-eyed savvy on how to win victories for those on the margins. Rania was Deputy Campaign Manager for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run and managed other major surrogates and Sanders’ appearances on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. As the head of her own consulting firm, she has helped develop strategy for a wide portfolio of organizations, including the Arab American Institute, March for Our Lives, March For Science, Human Rights Watch, and many others.  

Amy Brenneman

Award-winning Actress, Writer, Producer, and Activist

Amy Brenneman is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor and producer whose work on television includes NYPD Blue, Private Practice, Frasier, VEEP, The Leftovers, Goliath, and Judging Amy, based on the work of her mother, the Honorable Frederica S. Brenneman, which she created and executive produced. More recently, she’s been seen in Tell Me Your Secrets on Amazon, Shining Girls (Apple TV), and opposite Jeff Bridges in The Old Man on Hulu. Film: Heat, Casper, Fear, Daylight, Friends and Neighbors, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Nine Lives, among others.

Candice Cook Simmons, ESQ.

Chief Strategy Officer for a global media and creative production company 

With a professional background that includes high-profile matters, crisis management,  global market verticals including entertainment, consumer products, food and beverage, retail, travel and leisure, technology, and fintech industries, Candice Cook Simmons has solidified her reputation as a top leader at the intersection of business, legal, and strategy. She has been featured in numerous publications as one of New York City’s top attorneys and was selected as a “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer.” She serves on the Board of Directors for Greyston Bakery (the oldest B Corporation in New York where she is the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee) and as an Advisor to TheHistoryMakers in Chicago— the single largest archival collection of African American oral history which was acquired by the Library of Congress. 

Cindi LeIve

CEO, The Meteor

Cindi Leive is the CEO and co-founder of The Meteor, a new media company for audiences interested in modern feminism. She is also the cohost of the award-winning podcast Because of Anita, about the 30th anniversary of Anita Hill’s testimony. Leive is the former editor in chief of both Glamour and Self magazines, roles in which she won multiple National Magazine Awards and an Emmy, and the author and producer of bestselling books including Together We Rise, about the making of the Women’s March.

Lara Marcon


Lida Orzeck

Co-founder, Hanky Panky; social and reproductive justice advocate

Lida Orzeck is a founding partner of Hanky Panky Ltd, the intimate apparel design and manufacturing company known for its dedication to comfort and style, domestic production, sustainable practices and the World’s Most Comfortable Thong ®.  After receiving a doctorate in Social Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, Lida began her career directing research for the New York City Police Department and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation.  A gift of underwear made from handkerchiefs from designer friend Gale Epstein jumpstarted the appropriately named company in 1977.  Lida has served on the board of the Southern Poverty Law Center and is currently a trustee at Barnard College and on the boards of The Brotherhood Sister Sol and the International Organization for Women and Development. 

Dawn Porter

Award-winning Filmmaker

Award-winning, acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter has emerged in the entertainment industry as a leader in the art of storytelling; directing and producing critically acclaimed projects that have impacted generations of people from all walks of life. As a two-time Sundance film festival director, Porter’s work has been featured on HBO, Netflix, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, MTV Films, and other platforms. She has been recognized with career achievement awards from the Hamptons and Mill Valley Film Festivals, is the recipient of the 2022 Critics Choice Documentary Awards “Impact Award,” and an honoree at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Awards.

Chef Grace Ramirez

Chef, Cookbook Author, TV personality, Activist

A chef, dedicated humanitarian, educator, author, and TV personality, Chef Grace Ramirez has become a world leader who brings her Latin American heritage and charisma to the vast audiences of Oceania and the Americas. A blend of celebrity power and rooted knowledge of the culinary complexity of Latin American tradition, Grace has made a life of her own design. She is committed to shaping the future with authentic vibrancy and sustained care for nourishment, values inherited from a long lineage of powerful women.

Alysia reiner

Actress and Producer

Alysia Reiner is best know as “FIG” on 7 seasons of Orange is the New Black, and won a SAG award as part of the incredible cast. You can also catch her as Sunny on all five  seasons of Peabody Award-winning Better Things on F/X x HULU, Agent Deever on Critic’s Choice award-winning Ms. Marvel on Disney +, Kathryn on the new comedy horror Shining Vale opposite Courtney Cox and Greg Kinnear on STARZ, and Kiki Rains on HBO’s The Deuce. As an advocate for women’s rights and  climate change initiatives, she is on the board and an ambassador for The Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, Earth Day Initiative, and Air Protein. She is the Eco-Emissary for Izzy Zero Waste Beauty, and founded the eco-fashion initiative, Livari. She is also a volunteer firefighter because if the world is a dumpster fire, she wanted to get better at putting out fires.   

Favianna Rodriguez

Artist, Activist and Institution builder

Favianna Rodriguez Giannoni is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and entrepreneur based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom. Her work centers joy and healing, while challenging entrenched myths and dominant cultural practices. A strategy advisor to artists of all genres, Favianna is regarded as one of the leading thinkers and personalities uniting art, culture and social impact. Through her thought leadership as President and co-founder of The Center for Cultural Power, an organization igniting change at the intersection of art and social justice, she has been instrumental in building a cultural strategy ecosystem that supports BIPOC artists in the U.S. Favianna is currently working on a feature film about healing from generational womb trauma. 

Nancy Silverman




Ruby Level
Nancy Silverman

Trailblazer Level
Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson 
Bob Fertik and Antonia Stolper
Bronx Care Health Systems and Mr. Fuentes
Audrey & Martin D. Gruss

Illuminary Level
Cynthia Green Colin and Patricia Green 
Abigail and David Schumer
Select Equity Group
Sharon Weinberg 

Visionary Level
Mila Atmos
Laurie Campbell
Jennifer Bayer Michaels
Dolores M. Smith

Defender Level
Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir
Meika and Sheila Hollender
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation
Kathleen S. McHugh
Mrs. Sharon J. Monahan
Dawn Porter and David Graff

Protector Level
Anna Berent & Antoinette Danvers, MD
Wendy Flanagan & Amy Lipin
Daniel Gonzales
Stacie Kiratsous, Ph.D.
Nathalie Molina Niño 
Maria T. Vullo
Susi Wunsch
Janet Yearwood
Robert Jaffe
Aila Main, Jennifer Price and Marnie Worth
Sarah Stafford

2023 ChampionS of choice benefit

Ivelyse Andino
Caitlin Fiss, MD
Meika Hollender
Jennifer Justice
Kathy McHugh
Abigail Schumer
Statement PR
Glow Global Events

2023 nirh board of directors

Dolores M. Smith, Chair
Antoinette Danvers, MD, Secretary
Maria Vullo, ex officio
Anna Berent, JD
Jill Braufman 
Jennifer Justice
Kathleen McHugh
Laura Scheuer
Abigail Schumer
Nancy Silverman, emerita
Sharon Weinberg
Dr. Jen Welter
Janet Yearwood


Maria Vullo, Chair
Bob Fertik, Secretary
Dolores M. Smith, ex officio  
Ivelyse Andino
Debra Cooper
Daniel Gonzales
Robert Jaffe
Sarah Kovner
Gabriela D. Lemus, Ph.D.
Aisha C. Mills
Nathalie Molina Niño
Christine C. Quinn

Past Video Highlights

2022 Champions of Choice

2021 Champions of Choice

2019 Champions of Choice