Author Cheryl Wills will discuss her new book, Die Free: a Heroic Family Tale, which traces her great-great-great grandfather Sandy Wills' courageous service in the Civil War as a member of the United States Colored Troops.
Cheryl Wills is an award-winning anchor and reporter for Time Warner Cable’s flagship national news network, New York 1 News, based in New York City. On March 25, 2011, Cheryl Wills made history as the first journalist invited to speak inside the United Nations General Assembly Hall for the International Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cheryl is also a blogger for the internationally renowned The Huffington Post and she contributes to Essence.com. She has received numerous awards for her work including New York Press Club and AP Awards, the YMCA National Black Achievers in Industry Award, and the Carl T. Rowan Leadership in Media Award as part of the 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Awards. In 2010, McDonald’s honored Wills as a broadcasting legend during a regional ad campaign.
Her acting work has included playing herself in television shows like NBC's Law & Order SVU and major motion pictures such as Freedomland, starring Samuel Jackson, and The Brave One, with Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard. Wills is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and is an active member of The Inner Circle of City Hall Journalists, The National Association of Black Journalists, The New York Press Club, The Links Inc., and The Screen Actors Guild. Cheryl is also proud to be a The Founding Commander of the New York Chapter of the "Sons & Daughters of the United States Colored Troops".