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Sheryl Lee Ralph &   Sheryl Lee Ralph & Senator Vincent Hughes

Sex, HIV/AIDS, Politics, Celebrity, Women, Singing, Movies, African-American Community, Love

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Senator Vincent Hughes

Senator Vincent J. Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District in the Pennsylvania Senate, where he serves as the Acting Caucus Secretary of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Senate since November of 1994. Prior to coming to the Senate, Senator Hughes was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1987-1994. While in the House, he chaired the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus from 1991-1994.

Over the years, Senator Hughes has worked on numerous issues. From political empowerment to creating jobs, and from expanding health insurance to the uninsured to the rebuilding of neighborhoods, Senator Hughes has used his position to provide solutions and service to people often times when they had no where else to go.

Most recently Senator Hughes has led the fight to increase PA's minimum wage, and has secured over $20 million dollars of state money to go to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), to provide assistance to folk who need help with their heating bills. It should be noted that this is the first time that Pennsylvania has directed state dollars to go to this traditionally federally funded program.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), where he chairs its Audit Review Committee, and where he serves as a member of the board's Executive Committee. He is also a member of the PHEAA Foundation Board of Directors.

Continuing his work in higher education, Senator Hughes is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (SSHE), where he serves on its Finance and Administration Committee, and its Advancement Committee. The Pennsylvania SSHE is the governing organization of Pennsylvania's 14 universities.

Senator Hughes also serves on the Council of Trustees of Cheyney University, where he has worked to strengthen Cheyney's Keystone Honors program, and where he has worked tirelessly on Cheyney's capital program.

Senator Hughes also created the James Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honor of his father. Since its inception nearly 10 years ago, the Fund has raised approximately $1million. The fund provides deserving Philadelphia high school students $1500 scholarships, each year until graduation.

Senator Hughes has also been recognized both locally and nationally for his work and leadership on the issue of HIV/AIDS. He is credited with helping to facilitate the largest increases in HIV funding in Pennsylvanias history, for the past four consecutive years. Most recently he announced a $1.5 million state grant to expand the City of Philadelphias HIV/AIDS testing programs. His efforts also include securing a $500,000 grant in 2006 for Keystone Hospice to enable the facility to expand its services and enhance its ability to care for more patients affected by HIV/AIDS; moving the state Senate to unanimously adopt a resolution to designate February 7, 2003, as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day; partnering with the national Black AIDS Institute for the Philadelphia effort for the "Rhythms of Health Tour," and sponsoring "Can We Talk" forums to promote dialogue around the issue of HIV/AIDS. He also is recognized for his work to engage the local faith-based community to become actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Senator Hughes was awarded the John Blue Award from BEBASHI, and has been recognized by the national Black AIDS Institute, with its prestigious Heroes In The Struggle Award.

On the issue of community revitalization, Senator Hughes has been a leading participant in numerous community development projects. His establishment of the Center for Human Advancement prevented the old Provident Mutual Insurance Building at 4601 Market Street in West Philadelphia from being completely closed, and served as an anchor for the revitalization of that neighborhood, with over 100 new homes built and purchased at market rate for ownership, a nearby business incubator constructed, and several newly built and renovated retail stores. His securing of over $5million of state money was key in the construction of the Lucien Blackwell Homes, where over 200 homes have been built, also for market rate home ownership. Senator Hughes also brought back over $6 million in grants and loans for the Parkside Retail Complex. This will enable a major shopping mall to be constructed in the Parkside community, which will bring in a Lowes store and a Shop Rite supermarket, along with several chain and neighborhood businesses. This project is planned to employ several hundred neighborhood residents, both during and after construction.

Senator Hughes is married to actress/entertainer/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. They have four children, two girls and two boys. Senator Hughes worships at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, where he is a member of its Trustee Board.

As you examine his record of service, which is far longer than what is represented here, you will find that Senator Hughes often times works on issues that others choose not to address. And from that work, you will also find real results, on real issues, for the real people that he serves.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a multifaceted jewel of a woman who sparkles in every area of life. An acclaimed show business “pro”, her award winning body of work in film, television and the Broadway stage includes originating and creating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Tony Award Nomination and a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress.
After Dreamgirls, Ms. Ralph turned her attention to music, television, and film. She scored a top-ten selling dance hit in the mid-eighties with the infectious anthem In the Evening. The video is a You Tube hit.

On television, she has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of loving step mom, Dee on the smash series Moesha and received numerous NAACP Image Award nominations for this role. In the SHOWTIME series, Barbershop, Sheryl broke new ground as the popular, post-operative transsexual, Claire. She brought a new face to the sufferings of war in the NBC hit series ER.
Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II, The Flintstones, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.

As a producer, Sheryl Lee found new success with her production company, Island Girl Productions, writing, directing and producing her award-winning film short Secrets. With an all-star cast, that includes Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard, Tina Lifford, Victoria Rowell, La Tanya Richardson, Robin Givens and Ralph herself. Secrets was a finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime Filmmakers Series, Acapulco Black Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival and “Audience Favorite” at Outfest Film Festival. She is also the founding creator of The Jamerican Film & Music Festival, which in five years gave birth to five SHOWTIME Filmmaker Finalists.
A passionate AIDS activist, Ms. Ralph is the founding director of the DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed) Foundation 501(C)3 which she created in memory of the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS. She created the critically acclaimed Divas Simply Singing!, an evening of song and entertainment that has become one of the most highly anticipated AIDS benefits in Hollywood. Ms. Ralph has added the critically acclaimed one-woman show Sometimes I Cry, written, directed and performed by Ralph herself, about the lives, loves, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to her list of outstanding credits. Sometimes I Cry touches the heart leaving audiences around the world deeply moved and encouraged to know their HIV status.

Sheryl Lee consistently creates a contagious positive energy with her spontaneous humor and quick wit, which has made her a much sought-after guest or guest-host. She has appeared on: Entertainment Tonight, CNN, The Daily Show, Good Day LA, Good Day NY, CBS Morning News, Hollywood Squares, Smile Jamaica, Real Life DIVAS, Martha Stewart Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The Michael Baisden Show, Tom Joyner Show. Sheryl has been featured in: People Magazine, JET, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Ebony, ESSENCE, Bazaar, Vogue, GQ, Glamour, Time Magazine, Black Enterprise, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer and hundreds more publications. As a speaker, Sheryl Lee Ralph captivates and motivates audiences around the world.

Ms. Ralph was awarded the first Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her unique use of the arts in HIV/AIDS activism. Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she holds the distinction of being the first and youngest female graduate of Rutgers College (RU) at the age of 19. She received a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Tougaloo College for her AIDS activism.

Rich in creativity, Sheryl Lee has designed a line of socially conscious clothing, RED RIBBON WEAR. RED RIBBON WEAR offers socially responsible messages in style and beauty at affordable prices.

Mother of two with a blended family of four, Sheryl Lee loves every moment of motherhood. Married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania in what Entertainment Tonight called, "The most elegant and romantic wedding!" she acknowledges love is the greatest gift to be given and shared.