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Meet an Anthem Judge: Brenda Darden Wilkerson, AnitaB.org

In conjunction with our partnership with AnitaB.org, we have welcomed Brenda Darden Wilkerson to The Anthem Awards as an executive member of our judging academy, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. As the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, Wilkerson is a committed advocate for access and opportunity for underrepresented communities in technology across all its applications. 

This season we have launched the inaugural Anthem Fund to support emerging individuals and organizations working to advance the causes we amplify at The Anthem Awards. Our first-ever fund recipient of the $25,000 grant is AnitaB.org, a global organization supporting the success of women and non-binary people in technology. 

In conjunction with our partnership with AnitaB.org, we have welcomed Brenda Darden Wilkerson to The Anthem Awards as an executive member of our judging academy, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. As the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, Wilkerson is a committed advocate for access and opportunity for underrepresented communities in technology across all its applications. As a judge for the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards, she will leverage her experiences in technology and advocacy to review submissions across our honored causes. Learn more about Wilkerson below. 

1. Her passion for computer science and  accessibility began in college

As an undergraduate student, Wilkerson majored in pre-med biomedical engineering at Northwestern University. There, she had the opportunity to take two programming courses – her introduction to computer science. Wilkerson credits this experience as changing her life, “saw the light and became a computer scientist.”

2. She founded the original “Computer Science for All” program 

Prior to joining AnitaB.org, Wilkerson served as Director of Computer Science and IT Education for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for 11 years. While there, she founded the pivotal Computer Science for All program in 2008, which aimed to integrate computer science classes into the curriculum of every student in Chicago’s public schools. Through her efforts, the program impacted over 1.5 million students across Chicago and New York City. The program attracted the attention of the Obama Administration, which inspired former President Obama’s own Computer Science for All Initiatives, which took learnings from Wilkerson.

3. Wilkerson has also worked to democratize computer science for adults 

She also cares deeply about providing compute science education for adults. In 1992, she taught computing courses at Wilbur Wright College, part of the City Colleges of Chicago system. To further her impact, Wilkerson soon became the director of Wilbur Wright’s IT training program.

We are so excited to have Brenda Darden Wilkerson as a member of the Anthem Awards judging academy. To learn more about the important work she is doing, head to AnitaB.org’s website.

 

Don’t miss your chance to get your work in front of Brenda – enter the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards by our Final Entry Deadline September 23 here.

Patagonia – Don’t Buy This Jacket

Patagonia has put social impact at the core of their brand mission and values from the start, and their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign demonstrates how brands can use their platform to make an impact — or better yet, to help reduce our impact. This 2011 ad ran in the New York Times on Black Friday, making a lasting impression for its bold message addressing the issue of consumerism head on and asking readers to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

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NEWS & ANNONCEMENTS

Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels Movement

Love Has No Labels is a movement by The Ad Council to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.

Read our Q&A with Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s Chief Campaign Development Officer on the team behind LHNL collaborates with partners to combat implicit bias—from crafting PSAs to driving viewers to take action, to how brands and companies should approach corporate social responsibility with authenticity.

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