Common Sense to Honor Role Models and Leaders Who Are Building Bright Futures for Kids

2017 Common Sense Awards to celebrate Gina Rodriguez, United States Senators Susan Collins and Maggie Hassan, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, Common Sense board member April McClain-Delaney and School Superintendent Dallas Dance

Common Sense Media
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Washington, D.C. -- Common Sense, the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a powerful voice for kids and families in the 21st century, today announced the honorees for the 2017 Common Sense Awards, to be held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

The Common Sense Awards celebrate visionaries who have embraced media and technology to inspire, educate, and improve the lives of kids. This event is Common Sense Media's annual fundraising gala that rotates among San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Over the past 12 years, the Common Sense Awards have honored some of the most innovative minds in entertainment, public policy, and education technology, from former President Bill Clinton and filmmaker George Lucas to author J.K. Rowling and science educator Bill Nye the Science Guy. This year's honorees are true heroes who inspire, break barriers, give kids a voice, fight to ensure every child can succeed, and leverage their celebrity to achieve social justice. The honorees include:

  • Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globe Award-winning actor, the CW's Jane the Virgin: Media Role Model Award
  • Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.): Public Policy Leadership Award
  • Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, co-founded by Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker: Digital Media Leadership Award
  • April McClain-Delaney, Common Sense Washington director and co-chair, Common Sense Washington Advisory Council: Common Sense Champion Award
  • S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D., superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools: Educational Leadership Award

"Mobile devices and screens are a regular part of life, which can be challenging for parents to manage but can also provide wonderful learning and entertainment opportunities for kids and teens," said James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "We commend our honorees for the positive media messages, policies, and advocacy that they have supported on behalf of kids and families. They represent the gold standard for what media can be for our youth if we put our minds to it. We hope that by honoring them here today, others will follow their lead in creating content and policies that ensure kids can learn from and be entertained by what they see on their devices."

This year's hosts are Katty Kay, BBC News anchor, and Claire Shipman, journalist/author, who are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller The Confidence Code. Attendees will enjoy a poetry reading from National Student Poet Joey Reisberg, who recently shared the Lincoln Center stage with Meryl Streep and other luminaries at a celebration of National Poetry Month on April 19, 2017.

The audience attending this year's Common Sense Awards will include influential guests representing the worlds of education, government, and public leadership, industry, and business. To learn more about the 2017 Common Sense Awards, visit

About the Common Sense Awards
The Common Sense Awards pay tribute to the innovative media creators, educators, policymakers, and visionaries who are transforming the way kids learn, grow, and thrive in a 24/7 digitally connected world. Funds raised through this event, now in its 12th year, allow Common Sense to develop and deliver free parent resources and educational programs to millions of families and schools across America. Our groundbreaking Digital Citizenship Curriculum is used by a growing network of 485,000 schools nationwide, and our ratings and reviews reach more than 68 million people across the web and partner platforms. For more information, visit

About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a powerful voice for kids and families in the 21st century. Millions of families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense every day to access our independent ratings, unbiased research, and trusted tools and advice that help them navigate a rapidly changing digital landscape at home and at school. Learn more at


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