Cheryl Mainor Norman

Cheryl Mainor Norman is Publisher of Chicago News Weekly Newspaper serving Chicago’s Black community.

Cheryl is the former and first woman Publisher of theChicago Defender Newspaper. As President and Co-Founder of Black PressSpecialty Publications founded in 2001, Mainor was the publisher of LifeLines:The Journal of African American Health, the largest circulated publication targeting Black health issues and addressing the racial disparities in the health care system.  Today, she is still a major player in the content creation of media targeting the African American consumer.

Mainor Norman has been recognized for her work by the Congressional Black Caucus, The National Medical Association, Daimler Chrysler Financial Services and other organizations. Her career spent serving the Black Press is captured in an exhibit titled The Power of the Press at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.   As an operations consultant for many publications nationwide, Mainor gained award-winning status with the "Ethnic Pulitzer" Communicator of the Year from New American Media, and the Daimler Chrysler Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2007. Her work has been highlighted in many publications including the New York Times business section,Crain's Chicago Business and Black Women in Publishing, and she has been a guest contributor for many publications over the years.  Cheryl served on the HIV Vaccine Awareness Steering Committee at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the committee which was headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In 2017, Cheryl was appointed by the Governor to serve as Commissioner on the Illinois Human Rights Commission where she served the people of Illinois for two years.  A notable accomplishment of the 2019 Commission was their intense work to eliminate a backlog of over 2500 cases dating back 10 years, which provided the people their day to have their case heard before the commission which they so greatly needed.

Nationally, she has been active with several Voter participation organizations and GOTV campaigns, including National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Unity ’04 and Reclaim the Right to Vote in Louisiana 2006.


Mainor was a lead on the award-winning and ground breaking 2000 “Life Every Voice and Vote” Southern States GOTV initiative representing the National Newspaper Publishers Association where she served as the organization’s first Director of Media Services and Deputy Director.

This campaign was awarded the Multicultural Campaign of the Year by PR Week Magazine.  In this capacity, she was also instrumental in the vision and execution of one of the nation’s first aggregate news websites, a precursor to today’s sites such as Huffington Post and others, with the inception and launch of  The site is still operational and still generating content today.


Cheryl is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University and has worked professionally in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Washington, D.C.

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