The Anthem Awards Launched to Honor 'Purpose and Mission-Driven Work'

Pharrell Williams
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Pharrell Williams attends "The Lion King" European Premiere at Leicester Square on July 14, 2019 in London, England. 

The Webbys report a 33% increase in social impact work submitted for Webby Awards over the last four years.

The people who gave you the Webby Awards, which has celebrated “excellence on the Internet” since 1996, are launching a second award, The Anthem Awards, which will honor “purpose and mission-driven work.”

The Webbys teased the new award last month when Pharrell Williams received the inaugural Webby Anthem Award. But now the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), which presents The Webbys, has announced this second award.

The Anthem Awards will seek to recognize the best companies and work driving impact in seven key categories: diversity, equity and inclusion; education; arts and culture; health, human and civil rights; humanitarian action and services; responsible technology and sustainability; and climate and environment. They will honor work by both for-profit and not-for-profit companies.

The Webbys report a 33% increase in social impact work submitted for Webby Awards over the last four years, which led them to think there was an opening for this new award.

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.

Winners of the inaugural Anthem Awards will be announced in February 2022. A call for submissions is now open. The early entry deadline is Aug. 6. Late entries will be accepted through Nov. 5. Complete details on the submission process are available at

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 include The Ad Council, GLAAD, Born This Way Foundation, NRDC, Mozilla, World Wildlife Fund, and XQ Institute.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

The Anthem Awards organization announces the appointment of Jessica Lauretti as managing director. Lauretti has held key roles at RYOT and social impact agency Purpose.

“Whether we’re talking about climate, equity, or human rights issues, 2020 marked a conscious shift in society that has been building for decades,” Lauretti said in a statement. “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. 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.”

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) and Arianna Huffington (founder and CEO, Thrive Global).

The Anthem Awards jury includes activists and executives from a wide range of fields. Members include Daniel Dae Kim (actor, producer and 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 (chief commercial officer and board member, XQ Institute); Heidi Arthur (chief campaign development officer, Ad Council); and Alexis M. Herman (chair and chief executive officer, New Ventures, and former U.S. secretary of labor).

Also: 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).