Due has been at the core of CNN content for nearly two decades. A woman of advocacy with razor-sharp editorial judgment, she’s a champion of bringing diverse voices to the forefront. She was a key driver of CNN’s groundbreaking global broadcast this year of “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom,” working in tandem with the network’s special events programming team.

“My mother, Patricia Stephens Due, is the woman who has inspired me most. She led the first jail-in of the nation as a college student at Florida A&M University. She was dedicated to social justice but showed my sisters and me that we always came first. Dad would always apply the seven principles of Kwanzaa to what was going on in the community and Mom would apply them to what was going on in our lives. She made it clear that family should always be our priority.”

How has your definition of success changed over the course of your career? I’ve learned to define success by the impact I’ve had on others, and not by aspiring to a particular role or title. Baseball and civil rights legend Jackie Robinson summed it up best: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

What is a quote that you draw inspiration from? I draw daily inspiration from this quote from Ida B. Wells who was a journalist and social justice activist in late 19th and early 20th centuries: “The way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth upon them.” This quote moves me because it shows the power of journalism to make a difference in society. You don’t have to be marching in the streets to make a difference. You just need the media to tell the stories that matter.

My mental health aha moment: I have had quite a few mental health aha moments over the past several years where I have learned the importance of self-care even if I don’t always practice it as much as I should. But the biggest aha I’ve learned is that as a caregiver—those of us responsible for the physical and mental well-being of others, be they friends, partners, children, elders, and/or colleagues—we need to always find ways to replenish our own energy. As my mom and every airline has said, Put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.

What unique challenges do women still face in the workplace? I realize many women often still feel as if they need to be twice as prepared or buttoned up before speaking up—and that is something that we have to change as an industry and society. I’ve been thrilled to see CNN and WBD Sports placing an emphasis on culture where all ideas and perspectives are valued.

Honored For: