NEW YORK — For the third consecutive year, media personality and technology maven Shefik (https://shefik.info) returns as an Associate Judge for the 25th Annual Webby Awards (https://www.webbyawards.com), where he served alongside a panel of esteemed judges. This year's winners include Oprah Winfrey, BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Jennifer Garner, Jemele Hill, Christian Siriano, Katy Perry, Jay Shetty, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Rob Gronkowski, Gordon Ramsay, Kristen Bell, Dua Lipa, and James Corden. This year's show is dedicated to honoring outstanding individuals, organizations, and projects that found creative and innovative ways to use the Internet to help the world stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The complete list of winners can be viewed at https://winners.webbyawards.com.
"This past year, the Internet kept us together when the only option was being apart," said Claire Graves, President of Webby Awards. "Our connection has been everything, and our 2021 Winners are a testament to this. They have entertained us, helped us uplift one another, explained complex issues affecting our world and inspired global movements."
Winners were chosen through a combination of votes from the public and scores given by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) of which Shefik is also an official member of the Academy since 2018 (https://www.iadas.net/member/shefik/). Associate Members include former Webby Award winners, nominees, and other Internet professionals. Members also include writers and editors from publications such as Wired, Details, Fast Company, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe, and WallPaper, as well as The New York Times, who proclaims the Webby Awards as "the Internet's highest honor". Two million votes were cast from Internet fans in more than 230 countries and territories around the world to choose the Winners of the Webby People's Voice Awards. KPMG provides vote tabulation consulting for Webby Awards.
An international organization, IADAS selects the nominees and winners for the Webby Awards and the Lovie Awards — the leading honors for the Internet and individual achievement in technology and creativity. Presented by the Academy, the Webbys and the Lovies recognize excellence in digital creativity, while establishing best practices on a yearly basis — continually pushing the standards of web development higher. Through year-round online and offline events and content series, they encourage people inside and outside the industry to share ideas and information to create a better Internet.
Marking its 25th year, the Webbys once again honor a group of individuals for their outstanding work on the Internet this year with Special Achievement Awards. This year's Special Achievement Winners are:
- Webby Person of the Year Winner Dr. Anthony Fauci for using digital and social media to reach the masses with credible and factual COVID-19 information.
- Webby Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Gladys Brown West for developing the mathematical model that mapped Earth, laying the groundwork for the modern Global Positioning System (GPS), which has become instrumental in the daily lives of people worldwide. West stands out as a role model for young Black women everywhere who see their brilliance and the possibilities of their own dreams through her accomplishments.
- Webby Film and Video Person of the Year Winner Ava DuVernay for continuing to be a force for good in the entertainment industry with the launch of ARRAY Crew, a database to diversify Hollywood's below-the-line talent.
- Webby Social Movement of The Year Winner Stop AAPI Hate (Manjusha Kulkarni, Cynthia Choi and Russell M. Jeung) for using the Internet to effectively track and respond to incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
- Webby Best Actor Winner Riz Ahmed for his powerful work in the role of Ruben in the Amazon Prime film "Sound of Metal".
- Webby Best Actress Winner Andra Day for her incredible work in the Hulu biographical film "The United States vs. Billie Holiday".
- Webby Special Achievement Winner Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for his phenomenal use of social media to connect with people, provide inspiration and motivation to millions of followers globally, and serve fans with new and exclusive content. Johnson uses his platforms to amplify important social issues and his power of celebrity for the greater good.
- Webby Special Achievement Winner Jimir Reece Davis aka Amorphous for breaking the Internet through his self-released mash-ups and for injecting the Internet with much-needed positivity through his new single "Sunshine".
- Webby Special Achievement Winner Celeste Barber for using her online platform to create a safe, body-positive digital forum on social media.
- Webby Special Achievement Winner José Andrés for using his platform, both online and off, to tackle food poverty and insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Webby Breakout of the Year Winner Among Us for serving as the Internet's "it" game that has kept players around the world connected, while at a distance.
Additionally, IADAS launched two new Special Achievement Awards:
- The inaugural Webby Anthem Award to Pharrell Williams for his groundbreaking endeavors working towards racial equity in education and entrepreneurship by empowering a new generation of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Motivation (S.T.E.A.M.M.) through his non-profit YELLOW, as well as supporting Black and Latinx business owners through his newest non-profit Black Ambition. The Webby Anthem Award is named after the first-ever Anthem Awards, a new venture from the Webbys which will launch in summer 2021. Anthem Awards will honor the breadth of mission-driven work across causes in an effort to amplify the voices that spark global change. For more information visit https://www.anthemawards.com.
- The inaugural Webby Advocate of the Year to Yara Shahidi for her longstanding commitment to utilizing the Internet and her influence to vocalize issues that impact the Black community and BIPOC communities at large, and educate her audience about political issues and the voting process. This first-ever Advocate of the Year Award was selected by a committee chaired by the NAACP and IADAS and honors an individual who uses their online platform to amplify their commitment to social justice advocacy.
"It is extremely exciting to serve as an Associate Judge for the 25th Annual Webby Awards," says Shefik. "It is continuously amazing to be a part of the Internet's highest honor."
Celebrating over 20 years in the entertainment and technology industries, Shefik (https://shefik.info) is an accomplished industry insider, who has appeared on MTV, SiriusXM, PBS, BET, network television, and in print media, as well as internationally on TRT World (Turkey). He has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, MTV World, Merck, Merriam-Webster, and Wolters Kluwer. A seasoned pro in social media with a career background as a Lead Architect and Senior Web Developer, Shefik is on the cutting edge of new media. As a videographer and producer, his work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for NBC's "3rd Hour of TODAY", TIME magazine, The Washington Center, TV One's "Unsung", and Broadway World. Additionally, his photography has been featured in print and online publications, such as The Independent (United Kingdom), Daily Mail (United Kingdom), Harvard Kennedy School Magazine, Playbill, and China Press, as well as around 100 television and radio outlets owned by Cox Media Group. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation" (https://invocation.co), which is broadcast on 23 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally syndicated video series of the same name, via Amazon and other notable outlets.
Last Updated: October 11, 2022