The 2nd Annual Anthem Awards | Winners Announced


Anthem Blog

Top Takeaways from Anthem Executive Judges on the 2nd Annual Winners Work

We spoke with a group of Anthem Executive Judges to find out what some of their top takeaways were from the work they judged in the 2nd Annual Awards and what it’s signaling to them about the future of impact.

The scores are in, and we couldn’t be more astonished. We want to say a huge congratulations to the 2023 Anthem Winners! The work we received during the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards left us, and our Executive Judges, completely blown away. We were amazed by all the extraordinary talent we saw in the work and by the massive impact that our Anthem community is creating around the world. To dive deeper into the work, we asked our judges to share their thoughts on the projects they reviewed from this class of changemakers. Here’s what they had to say. 


Lizzie Horvitz, Founder, Finch

“I was incredibly inspired by so many of the submissions this year – ranging from how to better identify bird species to innovative ways to plant trees to combat climate change. It proved to me, yet again, that our world’s thorniest problems won’t be solved with a silver bullet, but with millions of bright minds putting their energy towards what they love.” 

Jason Rzepka, President & Founder, WRIT LARGE

“It’s easy to feel distraught about the state of the world today, especially with such clear visibility into human rights violations and people regularly being targeted because of their identity. However, reviewing the Anthem Awards’ Human & Civil Rights finalists served as a cynicism eraser for me.  Seeing the way activists, non-profits and brands are responding to some of our greatest contemporary challenges — with clever, unexpected, deeply strategic and timely counter-measures — filled me with hope.  Torrents of Truth, Babbel’s efforts to support Ukrainian refugees and the Bodega Boys’ Comida Gratis are two very different examples that have lingered with me months after judging ended.” 

Mitu Yilma, Digital Director, Born This Way Foundation

“​​It was a privilege to review the work entered in the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards. I’m always in awe of the creative, incisive ways people and organizations are showing up for their communities’ wellness. Caring for mental health is addressing food insecurity. Caring for mental health is addressing housing insecurity. Caring for mental health is removing barriers to access healthcare. Caring for mental health is addressing everyday stressors. This year’s entrants and their diversity of approaches represent how dynamic caring for mental health needs to be, and through their work, these entrants are helping to build a kinder and braver world. My full, heartfelt congratulations to this year’s winners and nominees.” 

Shaniqua McClendon, Vice President of Politics, Crooked Media/Vote Save America

“”I was truly blown away by this year’s Anthem Award submissions and in a few instances, literally brought to tears. They were extremely impressive and a clear sign of how eager entrants are to address so many of the issues facing our country and world. Throughout the world a lot of people are struggling and this year’s submissions really emphasized the collective power of people who refuse to sit idly when they have the ability to create change and get into some good trouble.  

So often this type of work goes unrecognized, which is why I’m so excited the Anthem Awards will be recognizing so many of these submissions and bringing greater attention to such amazing work. I’m honored that I get to serve as one of the judges who gets to review these submissions and get a glimpse at all the good happening around us. “

Geraldine White, Chief Diversity Officer, Publicis Groupe US 

“In judging The Anthem Awards I’ve seen quite a few inspiring campaigns – I won’t reveal my favorites before the winners are announced, but I will say the ones that resonated with me most were those that brought erasure to the forefront and showcased the stories of historically excluded individuals and communities.” 

Beato Singleton, Global EVP, Chief DEI Officer, McCann Worldgroup

“The work that was entered for this year’s Anthem Awards was really impressive. So much of the work was clearly well thought out with messaging that was intentional in conveying the importance of the cause or initiative being presented.

I was surprised to see the quality of storytelling that came through in many of the campaigns. There was clearly a lot of passion behind the projects that were brought to life through strong narratives, some of which evoke deep emotion for the judges. All of the submissions were smart and effectively engaging.

All the projects left me feeling excited about the future of impact work, particularly those that show people coming together to actively, and sometimes physically, drive positive change in the community. For example, the Blind Angels docuseries, which aims to destigmatize HIV, shows the lifesaving power of both individual and group advocacy to increase community support and education about a disease that keeps so many people feeling isolated/excluded from society. I was also struck by the creativity behind “Written into the Walls”, where Habitat for Humanity builders leave special messages inside the actual structure of the homes they build for people in need. Leaving such heartfelt messages was, to me, a symbol of warmth punctuating the demonstration of love-for-another that Habitat builders stand for. 

I think the impact industry is just getting started. As the world around us continues to be in flux, we’re going to see more people gravitate toward organizations and advocates that stand for positive change in the world.

These campaigns were particularly meaningful in my opinion as they help keep us conscious of the importance of these 3 areas to ensure that, as a society, we continue to expand our understanding of the world around us and the power we have, as individuals, to influence or shape our communities as well as the overall culture we are part of.

I was particularly happy to see work that focuses on people with disabilities across a variety of dimensions of diversity. This is an area of intersectionality that really needs to be more prominent in our impact work!” 

Susan McPherson, Founder & CEO, McPherson Strategies 

“I was blown away by literally the sheer number of phenomenal entries along with the creativity and compassion included with each.

I believe over time it will not be a separate sector but literally folded into all organizations, private, public and nonprofit.” 


Pancho González, Chief Creative Officer, Inbrax

“I was impressed by the number of social and digital initiatives that are taking place in micro-communities in many parts of the world. And also I think many of those ideas have a global standard that allows them to be scalable. New social issues arise and appear that I never would have imagined existed.

There are many social movements linked to immigrants, a theme that is repeated in all countries today. It amazes me how social networks are articulated and used to mobilize solutions for these groups, and these solutions not only come from creative teams, but also people from other industries join in promoting these ideas.

I am inspired by the work developed for minorities, the great social issues are already being faced by various organizations and governments, but nobody looks at the micro issues. At Anthem, I am inspired by finding these new social issues and seeing how I am able to promote them on my own market.

The industry has to keep searching, developing and implementing ideas that improve people’s lives and brands must be part of the solution. Brands must allocate risk capital so that communities in conjunction with multidisciplinary teams can investigate and find real solutions to humanitarian problems.

This is the category where the real contribution of human beings to other human beings is seen. I see talents really committed to humanitarian causes and social services, spending many hours on technological developments as well as using digital channels wisely.

Ashley Brundage, President & CEO, Empowering Differences 

“I think overall the DEI submissions were incredible and this year some of the data tracked numbers were what stood out to me. We have to include so much data and numbers behind this work so it is never seen as just a feel good program but one that ultimately drives bottom line success for an organization. I think a next level for DEI programs and submission going forward is more historical comparisons showcasing year over year impacts of their program and data impacts.” 


Chloe Barnes, Lead for Curation Standards, Twitter, Inc. 

“I was extremely impressed by this year’s awards. There was a large focus on global impact but supported through community collaboration and amplification. There were so many great entries, I know that it will be a tight race to determine this year’s Anthem Award Winners.  

There are too many to name, but one project in particular focused on making interactions with iPads, phones, and other handheld technology easier to use for those with Parkinson’s or others that experience hand tremors. 

I’m hopeful that society’s idea of inclusion has expanded and organizations are beginning to become extremely intentional about improving the accessibility of their products for those that are differently-abled.

I think an emphasis on responsible technology is going to be more important than ever. A lot of impact work is directly tied to some sort of technology and consumers of that technology are now wanting to better understand the why and how behind the information they consume as well as have more choice in their user experience with that technology. I think that you’ll find more efforts and initiatives designed to improve the transparency around the algorithms, policies, etc. that drive that technology. 

Responsible technology means developing technology that helps more than it hurts and allows consumers to have a choice in how they engage with that technology. Responsible technology works to mitigate bias in its operation and is accessible for all, including the next billion internet users who have different relationships with technology and digital literacy.

Samuel Rubin, Co-Founder, Chief Impact Officer, Hollywood Climate Summit 

“I’m so impressed and encouraged with the wide range of interdisciplinary climate solutions and initiatives emerging in the sustainability space. I’m highly inspired by intergenerational projects advancing cultural change and climate storytelling. The future of impact is story-driven and community-led. Movement building and mutual aid should be a core pillar for any impact strategy. Sustainability intersects with many issues and is interconnected with our daily lives.  To overcome the climate crisis we need more innovative people-centered solutions made with kindness.”


KR Liu, Head of Brand Accessibility, Google

“I was honored to be a juror for this year’s Anthem Awards. It was exciting to see the continued push around inclusion in all forms of identity on key cultural issues, especially diverse disability representation. Through media and film, we can show the role that technology can have on impacting people’s lives in creating new opportunities. It’s critical in how we move forward in demonstrating the positive change we need in society.” 

Lola Bakare, CMO Advisor & Inclusive Marketing Strategist, be/co

“To say I was inspired by this year’s entries is an understatement – they gave me hope.
In year 1, my gold winning entry was a workshop designed to guide leaders toward using marketing as a tool to maximize ROI at the intersection of business & social impact. This year’s entries surrounded me in proof that humanity is the engine that drives business, and businesses thrive when humanity comes first, not the other way around. There was so much creativity and passion on display, especially in the all new Responsible Technology category. The work of this year’s entrants grappled with important questions – how can we ensure our ingenuity works for the greater good? How can we ensure equitable access to all the advantages the future of ai will inevitably hold? From big corporates to SMBs and nonprofits, all the way down to independent creators, the spectrum of entrants was only matched by the wide range of ways they do good for the world. Huge congratulations to this year’s honorees, and all who shared their incredible work with us!”

Sherry Turkle, Professor, MIT, Science, Technology, and Society 

“It was a pleasure to review the projects submitted for the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards. As a cohort, they honored privacy, inclusiveness, and reached for new ways to use technology for health, personal empowerment, and community building.” 

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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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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