Webbys rally Leading Brands and Nonprofits behind inaugural Anthem Awards, with aim to celebrate and amplify the world’s best purpose & mission-driven work

Creativity, Digital & Media, Festivals & Awards

On the heels of Pharrell Williams being honored with the inaugural Webby Anthem Award, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and The Webbys are proud to announce the launch of a new award platform, The Anthem Awards, destined to honor the world’s best purpose and mission-driven work from for and not-for-profit organizations alike. Winners of the inaugural Anthem Awards will be announced in February 2022 with its call for submissions now open. 

As part of the initiative, IADAS has tapped some of the world’s leading purpose driven brands and not-for-profits to shepherd The Anthem Awards in its inaugural year. Foundational partners including The Ad Council, GLAAD, Born This Way Foundation, NRDC, Mozilla, World Wildlife Fund, and XQ Institute will advise the Anthem Awards as it seeks to recognize the best for and not-for-profit companies and work driving impact in seven key category areas: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Education, Arts and Culture, Health, Human & Civil Rights, Humanitarian Action & Services, Responsible Technology and Sustainability, Climate and Environment.  

“The Webby Awards has a long history of using its platform to celebrate change makers with real impact, bringing global attention to their work and their cause,” said Claire Graves, President of The Webby Awards. “For the launch of Anthem, we thought it was critical to work with that community of organizations and companies as they are best positioned to know what real impact looks like. They are helping to guide everything from categories to criteria and many of their leaders will be jurors helping to select our first honorees.”

In addition to its history of honoring changemakers like Pharrell and Greta Thunberg on stage at The Webby Awards, over the last four years, The Webbys saw a 33 percent increase in social impact work submitted to the awards, with 20 percent of mission-driven work submitted last year alone. Each entry is a symbol of the world’s growing commitment to make a positive change and why The Webbys organization is launching a new awards platform that celebrates those individuals, corporations, and organizations doing just that. 

All forms of work, online and offline, are eligible for The Anthem Awards – from digital to grassroots organizing, fundraising, awareness campaigns and launching of social movements. In addition, a portion of program revenue from entrants will fund a new grant program to support emerging individuals and organizations actively working to advance the causes that are being recognized in the inaugural Anthem Awards.

Furthermore, The Anthem Awards organization is proud to announce the appointment of Jessica Lauretti as Managing Director. Lauretti is an award-winning creative director and executive producer with more than 15 years of experience working at the intersection of business, creativity and impact.

Lauretti, whose experience building new ventures across the social impact landscape includes holding key roles at RYOT, and social impact agency Purpose, believes both business and pop-culture is ready for The Anthem Awards.

“Whether we’re talking about climate, equity, or human rights issues, 2020 marked a conscious shift in society that has been building for decades. Individuals, communities, and corporations are putting a stake in the ground around critical issues. We’re excited to join them by bringing attention to some of the most deserving work of the year,” said Lauretti. “I’m honored to lead The Anthem Awards and be part of the shift in what we as a society deem as valuable and worthy of an honor. Through this recognition, we hope to motivate industries in all categories to consider their own mission and social impact.” 

The Anthem Awards jury includes activists and executives from a wide range of fields. Members include Daniel Dae Kim (Actor, Producer & Activist); Mitchell Baker (CEO and Chairwoman, Mozilla); Lisa Sherman (President and CEO, Ad Council), Sarah Kate Ellis (President and CEO, GLAAD); Renata Erlikhman (Chief Investment Officer, OW Management); Shayla Tait (Director of Philanthropy, The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation); Russlynn Ali (CEO and Co-Founder, XQ Institute); Marc Ecko (CCO and Board Member, XQ Institute); Heidi Arthur (Chief Campaign Development Officer, Ad Council); The Honorable Alexis M. Herman (Chair and Chief Executive Officer, New Ventures, and Former U.S. Secretary of Labor); Courteney Monroe (President, National Geographic Partners); Terry Macko (Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, World Wildlife Fund); Gerald Chertavian (CEO, Year Up); Maitrayee Bhattacharyya, Ph.D (Senior Associate Dean, The College for Diversity and Inclusion of Brown University); Mitu Yilma (Digital Director, Born This Way Foundation); Jeff Nelson (CTO and Co-Founder, Blavity, Inc.); Pip Jamieson (Founder & CEO, The Dots); Chrissie Lamond (Executive Director, Digital Marketing and Strategy, Fast Company); Alex Amouyel (Executive Director, MIT Solve); Stephanie Chang (Global Editorial Director, The Trust at The Wall Street Journal | Barron’s Group) and Michelle Egan (Chief Strategy Officer, NRDC).

“In a time where purpose-led organizations are impacting the world in so many new ways, we’re incredibly honored to serve as a foundational partner and recognize mission-driven work across the globe,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “We remain committed to using the power of communications to spur social change and look to use this platform to celebrate those raising awareness and inspiring action.

Members of the Academy include QuestLove (musician); Vint Cerf (Internet inventor); Rashad Robinson (President, Color of Change); Van Jones (activist and broadcaster); Jesse Williams (actor and activist); Arianna Huffington (Founder, The Huffington Post); and more. 

The early entry deadline is August 6th, 2021 and late entries will be accepted through November 5, 2021. Complete details on the submission process are available at AnthemAwards.com.

The Anthem Awards celebrate purpose and mission-driven work from people, companies and organizations worldwide. As the most comprehensive award show spanning various industries and social impact categories, causes to be recognized include: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Sustainability, Climate & Environment; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Health; Education, Art & Culture; and Responsible Technology. The awards honor the worlds best purpose and mission-driven work from for and not-for-profit organizations alike. The Anthem Awards foundational partners include the Ad Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mozilla, GLAAD, World Wildlife Fund, Born This Way Foundation, and XQ Institute. Media partners include Blavity, The Dots and Fast Company.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Apps, Mobile, and Voice; Social; Podcasts; and Games. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include WP Engine, YouGov, BrandLive, Marketerhire (Official Career Partner), NAACP, KPMG, MediaMonks, Kamp Grizzly, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost, Podcast Movement, AIGA and Social Media Week.