Youth INC’s Rise Academy for Leaders of Color honored for Best Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Community Engagement and Partnerships categories at the inaugural Anthem Awards

March 1, 2022

Youth INC, a leading venture philanthropy organization in New York City, announced today that its Rise Academy for Leaders of Color program has received two Inaugural Anthem Awards for Best Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Community Engagement and Best Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Partnerships.

Anthem Winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Members include Daniel Dae Kim (actor, producer, and activist); Ashley Judd (author, actor, and social justice humanitarian); 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). 

Rise Academy for Leaders of Color shifts the landscape for emerging BIPOC nonprofit leaders of youth development organizations. Developed in partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University, participants earn a comprehensive certificate in Organizational and Community Leadership. The 15-month immersive experience integrates personal leadership development, nonprofit management, community leadership, executive coaching led by AIIR Consulting , capital investment, organizational development, and a mentorship program. Given Youth INC’s comprehensive approach to change management, the program will also seek to address the environments in which these leaders operate, including management teams and governing boards.

“It is our distinct honor to recognize the work that brands, organizations, and individuals are all making to create an impact in their community,” said Jessica Lauretti, managing director, The Anthem Awards. “We launched this platform to show the world that all corners of our culture, from sports and entertainment to business leaders and celebrities, are all standing up to say, it is time for systemic change and that social good is what we value as a society.” 

As a grantmaker for decades in New York City, Tracie Gilstrap, director of partner network engagement at Youth INC, has witnessed firsthand the issues Rise Academy for Leaders of Color strives to overcome. She conceived this program with a BIPOC-informed, equity-centered design, partnering with a powerful collective of nonprofit leaders, centering their voices and experience in the sector at every stage of the process. Rise Academy for Leaders of Color both elevates BIPOC leaders by honing their leadership skills while simultaneously assessing and improving the organizational culture and systems in which they operate.

“Structural barriers created by racial inequities in the nonprofit sector have long perpetuated disparities amongst its leadership. The lack of opportunity for the up-and-coming leader negatively impacts the diversity in thought leadership and adversely impacts the youth served when they don’t see themselves represented,” said Gilstrap. “As a capacity builder, Youth INC is uniquely positioned to assess and address these barriers and support our rising nonprofit leaders and partner organizations. We are honored to receive this distinguished recognition from The Anthem Awards as a testament to our commitment to racial equity.” 

Winners for the inaugural Anthem Awards were celebrated at the first annual Anthem Voices conference which was followed by a star-studded virtual Awards Show on Monday, February 28, 2022. The Inaugural Anthem Awards honored Dr. Jane Goodall with a 2022 Anthem Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her lifetime of passionate advocacy for the conservation of the natural world, her ground-breaking research into wild chimpanzees, and the establishment of the Jane Goodall Institute. Other esteemed Anthem Award winners include Monica Lewinsky (The Epidemic), Reshma Saujani (The Marshall Plan for Moms), David Heath (Bombas), Michele L. Jawando (Omidyar Network) and Akimi Gibson (Sesame Learning), Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation as well as executives from NRDC, Nat Geo, Nike, MTV, The Trevor Project, NAACP, PayPal, John Hopkins University, Innocence Project, Ad Council, NASA, Charity Water, Google, GLAAD and more. 

The Anthem Awards was launched in response to the prevalence social good has taken within the national conversation and cultural zeitgeist in recent years. The inaugural competition received nearly 2,500 entries from 36 countries worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. A portion of program revenue will fund a new grant program supporting emerging individuals and organizations working to advance the causes recognized in the inaugural Anthem Awards.

About The Anthem Awards: 

The Anthem Awards, the Webby Awards newest initiative, was developed to recognize the breadth of social good work (online and offline) around the globe by honoring the organizations, brands, and people creating long-lasting impact; including, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Education, Art, & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment, & Climate. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. Founded in partnership with the Ad Council, Born This Way Foundation, Feeding America, Glaad, Mozilla, NAACP, NRDC, WWF, and XQ. 

About The Webby Awards: 

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 13,500 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 Verizon, WP Engine, YouGov, Brandlive, Canva, NAACP, KPMG, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost, Podcast Movement, and AIGA. 


Youth INC

Youth INC is a network of 80+ of the best youth development nonprofits in New York City. We provide our nonprofit partners with the coaching, capital, and connections required to achieve sustainable growth and maximum impact. Our nonprofit partners collectively champion over 250,000 young people each year. The Aspen Institute estimates that investing in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) of young people generates an 11x return. This measure means Youth INC's $110 million raised since inception has yielded over $1B in impact.