During an intimate gathering at The Watergate Hotel, 12 individuals and organizations were named the winners of the inaugural 2019 .ORG Impact Awards. Hosted by the Public Interest Registry, .ORG domain name users were celebrated for their accomplishments in community mobilization, marketing and outreach and mission achievement. Actor (current star of The CW’s All American and an original cast member of Rent ), Broadway star and philanthropist Taye Diggs was one of those honored for his dedication to greater social good around the world, through both philanthropic and community involvement.
Diggs’ non-profit organization, A Broader Way, that he founded with fellow Broadway star Indina Menzel, focuses on exposing young women in urban areas to the arts, building self esteem and leadership through classes on dance, writing or singing.
In a private interview, Diggs told WL that, “We understood how important it was to be exposed to things. Had we stayed in our lanes as we were younger and not followed our dreams and our talents, who knows where we would be,” referring to the launch of the organization with Menzel.
Diggs also says that innovation is what keeps the ball moving with ideas and passion. “People can be in charge and have ownership of their own expression and get it out to millions of people on their own terms. No one has to be stunted by people saying you’re not good enough, no one wants to hear your message.”
The .ORG domain continues to promote and support not only innovators but innovators looking to leave a footprint and make a difference on society. The inaugural awards’ intent “is to highlight the great work that people in the .org community are doing and how they are improving the world,” said Jon Nevett, CEO of Public Interest Registry. “The .ORG domain is where people go to do good.”
.ORG is the original purpose-driven “generic” top-level domain (gTLD) with more than 10 million domain names registered worldwide. .ORG is open to everyone, providing a global platform for organizations, associations, clubs, businesses and individuals to bring their ideas to life. For more than 30 years, the organization has built an enduring legacy of trust, preserving an open and secure Internet where diverse communities can establish a trusted online identity and freely share ideas.
“We are trusted as stewards for this great space and I think that they (people) should be excited about what other people are doing with that and motivated and passionate about what they are doing as well,” says Nevett.
OIA Award Winners
Individual Awards honor the contribution of an individual to their organization or the broader sector and receive a $5,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:
- Innovator Award – Alicia Weston, founder of Bags of Taste (UK)
- Rising Star Award – Diane Diamantis, president and co-founder of Kelsey B Diamantis TS Scholarship Family Foundation Inc. (U.S.)
- Outstanding Volunteer – Zehra Abbas, president and co-founder of Studio 89 (Canada)
Sector Awards recognize organizational and team accomplishments and receive a $2,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:
- .ORG Non-profit of the Year – World Refugees School (U.S.)
- .ORG Community Group of the Year – Community Focus Group (Kenya)
Initiative Awards celebrate achievement in a specific online niche area and receive a $1,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:
- Best Integrated Communications Campaign – Skateistan, “Empowering Children Through Skateboarding and Education” (U.S. / Germany)
- Best Social Media Campaign – The Mayhew, “Mayhew Website Redesign” (UK)
- Best Use of Partnerships/Celebrity Endorsements – Kiva, “The Big Impact of Small Loans” (U.S.)
- Outstanding Multimedia Content – C Three Foundation, “C Three Foundation Multimedia
- Outstanding Online Fundraising Campaign – Teach For America, “Teach For America Alumni and Staff Challenge” (U.S.)
- Outstanding Website Redesign – The Mayhew, “Home Is Where Their Dog Is” (UK)
- Top #GivingTuesday Campaign – The City Mission, “Fund a Project That Would Change Your Community” (U.S.)