Common Sense to Honor Black Panther, Sal Khan, and March for Our Lives at 15th-Anniversary Gala

The Common Sense Awards Honor the Year's Best in Entertainment, Education, and Advocacy

Common Sense Media
Thursday, November 15, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2018 -- Common Sense, the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology, today announced the honorees for the 2018 Common Sense Awards, an annual celebration that recognizes and celebrates the best in entertainment, education, and advocacy. This year, Marvel Studios' Black Panther will win the Great Family Media award; Khan Academy founder Sal Khan will win the Educator of the Year award; and the March for Our Lives movement will be recognized with the Advocacy award. Black Panther writer and director Ryan Coogler, Sal Khan, and activist Cameron Kasky will receive the awards at San Francisco's City Hall.

"The Common Sense Awards honor artists, educators, and advocates who use media and technology to inspire and advance new ideas, engage diverse or marginalized communities, and effect positive change for children," said James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "In today's divisive culture, this night is an opportunity to celebrate all the good that media can do, shining a spotlight on important issues and inspiring a generation of kids toward a brighter future."

Great Family Media: Black Panther

When Black Panther was released earlier this year, Common Sense Media gave it five stars and the Common Sense Seal, a special designation for movies and television shows that spark family conversations, entertain families of all types, and make a significant, lasting impact on individuals within a family or on the culture as a whole. The Common Sense Media review describes Coogler's masterful drama as "unlike any other, featuring outstanding acting, breathtaking art direction, fascinating royal intrigue, memorable action sequences, and surprising depth."

"We'd like to think that such a fun and entertaining film as ours also had the effect of prompting families to have meaningful conversations around culture and identity that hopefully will open doors to better understanding," said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and producer of Black Panther. "We're honored to receive this recognition from Common Sense because, at its core, Black Panther is a story about family. I'm so excited that we could share it with families all over the world."

Educator of the Year Award: Sal Khan

Like Common Sense, Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, understands the power of technology to transform learning outcomes and create opportunity for children around the world. Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational organization that creates free online tools for millions of students and teachers around the world. Common Sense rates Khan Academy as a Top Pick for Learning, with five stars for quality and an A+ for educational value, calling it "a wonderful and inspiring resource for teachers, parents, and students of all ages."

"As technology plays a major role inside and outside the classroom, we want to make sure education innovation is accessible," said Khan. "We are delighted to receive this award from Common Sense, an organization with a shared vision of ensuring students and families of all backgrounds can access tools to thrive in the world of technology and media."

Advocacy: March for Our Lives

Stemming from the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, March for Our Lives is a student-led organization that supports and works for tighter gun control laws. In 2018, March for Our Lives coordinated a worldwide protest march and later began a voter-registration drive (called Vote for Our Lives) to increase turnout in the 2018 election. The March for Our Lives movement has built a community of young activists passionate about making positive change in the country.

"It's no secret that social media has helped us engage directly with the public to share our stories and bring about change," said Cameron Kasky, co-founder of March for Our Lives. "I hope the March for our Lives movement has inspired other young people to understand the power of social media as a powerful tool to advocate for the issues they care about most. I'm honored to accept the Advocacy award on behalf of the March for Our Lives team, and I appreciate all that Common Sense Media does to advance media literacy around the country. "

The November 15th awards celebration at City Hall in San Francisco will showcase installations that combine technology and art with partners Intel, Pace Gallery, and teamLab. Intel will showcase Future Classroom, bridging physical and digital worlds to highlight the intersection of art and technology. TeamLab, a tech-art collective based in Tokyo and represented by Pace Gallery, will also be on-site, featuring a digital installation playground for all ages.

The awards show will feature an original spoken word performance by Imani Cezanne and an original performance by Vocal Rush, a two-time national champion a cappella ensemble based out of Oakland School for the Arts.

Photos of the event will be available at:

For more information about the ceremony, hosts, and honorees, visit


About Common Sense

Common Sense is committed to making kids the nation's top priority. We are a trusted guide for the families, educators, and advocates who help kids thrive. We provide resources to harness the power of media, technology, and public policy to improve the well-being of every child. Learn more at