Celebrating our Elevate Prize winners on a billboard in Times Square! 

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“I never dreamed that this would be possible!”

That’s what 2024 Elevate Prize winner, Melissa Malzkuhn, Director of Motion Light Lab, an organization advancing sign language fluency and equity through immersive content, said to us as she saw her face on a Times Square billboard announcing our new cohort of winners. 

At Elevate, we believe that changemakers and the good they ignite deserve the same recognition as those traditionally in the spotlight – and few pieces of real estate represent the spotlight like Times Square.  That’s why, to announce our 2024 Elevate Prize winners, we put them on a billboard soaring high above the bustle of Broadway for everyone to see and celebrate the great work that they do. The epitome of Make Good Famous!

 “It’s an amazing experience to see a Deaf person represented in Times Square,” Melissa told us. “It really means a lot. I want the world to understand that our community has so much to contribute in so many different ways. We’re so rich in our cultural history and we want to share that. To be visible is really inspiring.”

“Make Good Famous means making good people famous, and that includes people who are impacted by the justice system,” said Daniel Forkkio, CEO of Represent Justice, an organization using the power of the media to reimagine the justice system. “We are bringing thousands and hopefully millions of people to the stories of people who have suffered incredible things but are also living incredibly resilient, successful lives, and doing their best to change the system every single day.  Hopefully, we’re humanizing those people and other people who are impacted by the system as well.”

Even winners who weren’t able to be there in-person were proud of this moment of important visibility for their work. “Can’t say I ever expected to see [EarthEnable]‘s logo on a Times Square billboard!,” wrote winner Gayatri Datar, co-founder and CEO of EarthEnable, an organization developing natural building materials to create healthy and sustainable homes in rural Africa.  

“I share this with firm belief that entrepreneurs, changemakers, community problem fixers, social leaders [and] designers of our future deserve to be on the same platforms as other superstars like actors and athletes,” said Mpindi Abaas, CEO of Media Challenge Initiative, inspiring the next generation of journalists in Africa. “We must #MakeGoodFamous in any way we can, so that the next generation can find a better world and also have a lot of great and uplifting content to consume.”

Visibility matters. Representation matters. And who shares the spotlight matters. 

It is always an honor to shout our Elevate Prize winners’ achievements from the rooftops – and we’re thrilled that this time, we got to do that literally!