Common Sense Media to Honor Champions for Kids in Media and Technology

Eighth annual awards event returns to San Francisco to celebrate champions for kids in a 24/7 digital world

Common Sense Media
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

San Francisco, CA – Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping parents and teachers improve kids' experiences with media and technology, today announced the honorees for the Eighth Annual Common Sense Media Awards, to be held at San Francisco's City Hall on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

Over the years, Common Sense Media has honored some of the most innovative minds in the worlds of entertainment, public policy, and technology, from former President Bill Clinton to filmmaker George Lucas to Sesame Street's Elmo. This year, the event returns to its home in San Francisco after two years in New York and Washington, D.C. The theme for this year's awards is "Champions for Kids."

The 2012 honorees include:

  • Nick Cannon, actor, comedian, producer, and television personality, for his efforts to combine high-quality entertainment with leadership and advocacy work.
  • Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., writer, media activist, and filmmaker; and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker, CEO and founder,, for their pioneering work as advocates for women and girls in media.
  • Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, for his leadership in protecting kids' online and mobile privacy.
  • Jeff Mao, educator, for his success in bringing digital literacy and citizenship education to K-12 students across the state of Maine.
  • Bridgit Mendler, actress (Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie) and Hollywood Records musician, singer, and songwriter ("We Can Change the World"), for demonstrating what it means to be a role model in a digital world.

"After two years on the East Coast, the Common Sense Media Awards have returned to their home in San Francisco," said James Steyer, CEO and founder, Common Sense Media. "And it's amazing to see how both the world and Common Sense have changed in such a short time. We've always known how big an impact media and technology are having on the way that our kids grow, play, and learn. But the developments of the last two years have solidified the notion that today's technological revolution is changing the very nature of childhood. Our honorees this year represent how we have stepped up to face the challenges our kids face in a digital world and created innovative solutions and opportunities to help them thrive."

In addition to the honorees, Common Sense Media has partnered with AOL for the What You Love Awards. From April 1-15, users at cast their votes for their top picks of the year's best in family movies, TV shows, books, games, and apps, as well as for their favorite or most inspiring artist and actor. The winners in each category will be announced at the event on April 25.

The event will also mark its return to San Francisco by honoring Common Sense Media's eight distinguished founding donors with special awards for their support over the years; the donors to be honored are Marcy Carsey, Jim Coulter, Susan Ford Dorsey, Becky Morgan, Barney Osher, George Roberts, Jesse Rogers, and Tom Steyer. Leading sponsors for this year's awards include AOL, First Republic Bank, Goldman Sachs Gives, and Comcast.

The event co-chairs are Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher, managing director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Cecilia and Jim Herbert, chairman and founding CEO, First Republic Bank; Eva and Bill Price, co-founder and partner emeritus, TPG Capital, L.P.; Tracy and Gene Sykes, managing director, Goldman Sachs & Co.

The audience will include nearly 400 influential guests representing the worlds of education, entertainment, government/public leadership, technology, and business.

To learn more about the Eighth Annual Common Sense Media Awards, visit

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to:

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