Inspiration Awards - Los Angeles Honorees
actor + advocate
Jodie Tuerner-Smith now shines in Netflix's MURDER MYSTERY 2, starring alongside Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston for Jeremy Garelick. She recently wrapped filming the Disney+ series THE ACOLYTE created by Leslye Headland with select episodes being directed by Kogonada. She also recently starred in Noah Baumbach's WHITE NOISE on Netflix, opposite Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle, which premiered opening night in Venice. She also stars in THE INDEPENDENT opposite Brian Cox for Emmy-nominated director Amy Rice which premiered on Peacock November 2nd. She recently completed filming the forthcoming Apple TV+ drama BAD MONKEY, starring alongside Vince Vaughn, Michelle Monaghan, and Meredith Hagner. The series is executive produced by Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence and directed by Marcos Siega. Previously, Jodie appeared to rave reviews starring as the title role in the convention defying, limited series ANNE BOLEYN, for Sony International and Channel 5.
She can be seen in the lead role opposite Colin Farrell in AFTER YANG directed by Kogonada for A24. The film premiered at Cannes Competition un Certain Regard and Sundance.
Jodie can be seen starring in WITHOUT REMORSE, opposite Michael B. Jordan for Amazon, and the critically acclaimed QUEEN AND SLIM, starring opposite Daniel Kaluuya written by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas for Universal.
In 2020, Jodie wrote, directed, and performed in her short film JACKIE, made in collaboration with Gucci. The artistic short served as an impressive introduction to Jodie's gifts as a writer/director. “Jackie is about a woman who is alone, but not lonely. In her home, her sanctuary, she chooses to remain uninterrupted, despite the pressures of outside voices."
Co-Founder, President and CEO, Michael Stars
Suzanne Lerner, co-founder, president, and CEO of contemporary fashion and lifestyle brand Michael Stars is an entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist. Under Suzanne’s leadership, Los Angeles-based Michael Stars, the company that she co-founded with her late husband Michael Cohen, has evolved into a collection of beautifully designed fashion essentials. One of the first socially responsible apparel brands, Michael Stars has always ensured fair wages and was an early innovator in local sourcing and manufacturing. The company also received the Southern California Apparel Social Responsibility Award from the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Suzanne’s activism and philanthropy focuses on funding grassroots and community organizations that are building critical pathways to gender and racial equity—lifting up the voices of women to ensure equal rights; providing the access to capital, skills and leadership training needed for women and marginalized groups to get ahead; investing in community-led organizing; and building transformative power at the grassroots level. She is also broadening her focus to include U.S. and international organizations that engagement in gender equity advocacy and reproductive justice. She invests in communities both domestically and internationally through personal grants, impact investments, and the Michael Stars Foundation, which she and Michael established more than 20 years ago. She is a frequent contributor and speaker on business and activism, sharing her perspective and experiences around running socially responsible businesses, entrepreneurship, and the role of business in advocating for an equal world.
She received the“Woman of Vision” Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women and was recognized as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews and as “2020’s 25 Most Influential Angelenos,” by Angeleno Magazine. Highly active in social justice organizations, Suzanne serves as a board member for the Fund for Women’s Equality and the ERA Coalition and the Foundation Board of the ACLU of Southern California. She previously served on the board of the Ms. Foundation for Women and is currently co-chair of the Ms. Foundation 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. She is an advisory board member of Prosperity Catalyst, A Call to Men, and Children Mending Hearts, and a member ofWomen Donors Network (WDN), One for Democracy, the Maverick Collective at PSI, and the Forbes Business Council. An avid supporter of documentary film, Suzanne was an associate producer of "The Fight," winner of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize and an executive producer on “Shouting Down Midnight” (2022).
She resides in Manhattan Beach, California, New YorkCity, and Mykonos, Greece with her #feministpup @ms_simba. For more information visitsuzannelerner.com.
UCLA Class of 2027
Gladis aspires to create her own business that markets secondhand and reasonably-priced apparel to her neighborhood.
“I value persistence because it has allowed me to get to where I am now. I would have been mentally unstable and missed out on the chance to enroll in top universities and pursue my aspirations. One of my biggest worries is giving up on myself, but I've learned that when I believe in myself, I can accomplish anything.”