SXSW Community Service Awards

March 14, 2020

The SXSW Community Service Awards honor six individuals and six organizations for their dedication to fostering positive community impact. Each honoree receives a grant, complimentary entry to SXSW, and recognition at an awards ceremony during the SXSW event.

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SXSW Community Service Awards - 2019 - Photo by Errich Petersen

SXSW Community Service Awards - 2019 - Photo by Errich Petersen

Community Service Award Grants


The SXSW Community Service Awards celebrate the spirit of community, both in Austin and further afield. Every spring, we recognize six individuals and six organizations for their commitment to community service at an award ceremony that takes place during SXSW. They each receive a grant, complimentary entry to SXSW, and an opportunity to spread the word about their work to the SXSW community. Join us in recognizing these outstanding individuals and organizations during SXSW 2020 on March 14 from 5-7pm in JW Marriott, Salon E.

Learn more about grants for individuals and organizations below and explore 2019 honorees.

The deadline to apply for a Community Service Award has passed.

Please email any questions about individual or organization Community Service Awards to

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SXSW Community Service Awards
March 14, 2020 | 5:00PM – 7:00PM
JW Marriott (3rd Floor, Salon E)
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This event is open to all SXSW Badges and is also free and open to the public.

SXSW Community Service Awards for Individuals


Six individuals will receive a grant to an eligible 501(c)(3) or eligible charity of their choice as well as a complimentary registration to SXSW 2020.

The Community Service Award is intended to honor the breadth of community service work of six individuals rather than organizations or groups. We are looking for individuals whose creative community service work bridges the digital divide, impacts the community positively, includes some degree of grassroots or hands-on organizing, and who has a body of work and a track record of community service.

This community service award celebrates the life and work of SXSW Interactive co-founder, Dewey Winburne.

For grants for nonprofit charitable organizations, please see SXSW Community Service Awards for Organizations below.

SXSW Community Service Awards for Organizations


Six organizations will receive a grant to continue or begin their work and will be honored at the SXSW Community Service Awards.

To qualify, an organization must be a charitable organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) or be otherwise qualified to receive charitable contributions.

We choose the organization grantees based on their connection to one of the following aspects of SXSW: Convergence, Interactive, Film, Music, or EDU. We are additionally looking for projects and programs that generally serve the Austin / Central Texas community.

This grant process is goal and outcome focused. These grants focus on hands-on solutions to community issues, especially where they improve the lives of the underprivileged or disenfranchised.

These grants are designated to further the work of organizations, not individuals. For grants geared toward individuals, please see Community Service Awards for Individuals above.

Meet the 2020 Honorees

Get to know the individuals and organizations that will be honored at SXSW 2020 for their dedication to improving their communities!

Musicians On Call - 2020 SXSW Community Service Award Honoree - Photo courtesy of organization

Musicians On Call - 2020 SXSW Community Service Award Honoree - Photo courtesy of organization

2020 Honorees


Individual Recipients

Kanchan Amatya – Kanchan Amatya is an award-winning Nepalese social entrepreneur, social justice advocate, gender specialist, and UN Women Global Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment. She is the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative (SFFI), a social enterprise that assists rural female farmers to combat extreme hunger and poverty by providing training, microloans, and assistance to develop sustainable enterprises. Amatya is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Honor Roll Award, 2019 Truman Award for Excellence in International Development, 2019 Diana Award, and more.

Antionette Carroll – Antionette Carroll is the founder, president, and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit educating and deploying youth to challenge racial and health inequities impacting Black and Latinx populations. Carroll is also the co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference and Fellowship. Through this work, she is the recipient of several recognitions including being named an ADL and Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellow, Roddenberry Fellow for Civil Rights, Echoing Green Global Fellow, TED Fellow, ADCOLOR Innovator and Essence Magazine Woke 100.

Tarik Daniels – Tarik Daniels is an AfroQueer writer, performer, and mental health and HIV activist. Daniels is the founder and executive director of Whatsinthemirror?, a social movement that provides mental health awareness and suicide prevention through art, advocacy, and affirming care to communities of color. Currently serving his second term as a City Commissioner for Austin’s LGBTQ Quality Of Life advisory board, Darik is also a recipient of Austin’s Under 40 Award in 2019 for Arts and Entertainment and hosts a weekly black queer lifestyle podcast show What Works For Us.

Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone – Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone is a multimedia storyteller through projects such as, Riders Against the Storm, NefrFreshr, and events such as RAS DAY Festival and Body Rock ATX. In 2019, Chaka launched DAWA, Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action. DAWA, meaning medicine in Swahili, will provide funds for people of color experiencing mental health crises, with a priority to artists, musicians, social workers, educators, and public servants. In 2020, the fund also intends to create a monthly space for the public to receive free yoga classes, reiki, massage, and acupuncture treatments in an accessible community venue.

Amanda Nguyen – Amanda is the CEO and founder of Rise, a nonprofit that advocates for the civil rights of sexual violence survivors. Nguyen penned her own civil rights into existence and unanimously passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, after having to navigate the broken criminal justice system after her own rape. She is named on Forbes 30 Under 30, a Top 100 Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, Young Woman of the Year by Marie Claire, The Tempest’s #1 Woman of Color Trailblazer and is also a recipient of the 2019 Heinz Award and a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

John Vitti – John Vitti, a veteran journalist in Boston, is the founder of nonprofit Headliners in Education. Vitti created online student journalism programs in Watertown, Mass. public schools. Starting with the Cunniff Kids News in 2007, he now runs online papers in five district schools, impacting more than 225 students. As an advocate for the educational opportunities student journalism provides, Vitti advises students and teachers in over 125 Greater Boston schools.

Organization Recipients

Austin Bat Cave – Austin Bat Cave is a creative community whose writing programs empower students to find their voice and share their stories. By implementing an engaging curriculum and working with students one-on-one, Austin Bat Cave volunteers inspire young writers with a passion for reading, writing, and learning.

Austin African-American Book Festival – The Austin African-American Book Festival is a community gathering and cultural celebration of African-American writers and their work. With literary-based programming that includes author talks, scholarly discussions, children’s activities, and a vendor marketplace, the Austin African-American Book Festival promotes intellectual achievement and art as catalysts for critical thinking, activism, and positivity.

Latinitas – Latinitas works with young girls of color to combat stereotypes in media and technology not only based on gender, but also in culture. Latinitas provides direct digital media and technology training and services to adolescent girls across Texas, recently expanding to Northern California. Through clubs, camps, workshops, conferences, and its own coding and digital producer certification programs, Latinitas builds inclusivity not only through innovative lessons in STEM, but by doing so through a media literacy lens that addresses stereotypes, social-emotional learning, and self-advocacy.

Made In Her Image – Made In Her Image is a non-profit movement striving towards social equity in the film, media and entertainment industry. Made In Her Image serves youth aged 8 to 18 by curating engaging programming to foster media literacy and empowerment. Dedicated to the advancement of females in film, media, and technology, Made In Her Image strives to create and shape the film pioneers and revolutionaries of tomorrow by giving girls and women of color the opportunity to create their vision through programming, camps, workshops and more.

Miracle Messages – Miracle Messages is a nonprofit reunion service for those experiencing homelessness to reconnect with their loved ones. To date, Miracle Messages has reunited 266 families with an average time disconnected of 15 years, using a mobile app, online and paper-based forms, and 1-800-MISS-YOU hotline. Eighty percent of delivered messages have been positively received, and dozens of reunions have resulted in getting a client off-the-streets at a fraction of the cost of other interventions. Miracle Messages has been featured in The New York Times, Brut, NowThis, and 600 other publications.

Musicians On Call – Musicians On Call (MOC) is a nonprofit organization that connects musicians to hospitals, bringing the healing power of music to patients who are battling illness and injury, along with their families and caregivers. MOC’s nationally renowned Bedside Performance Program delivers local volunteer musicians room-to-room to offer patient-requested live music performances, creating meaningful and transformative experiences that relieve stress, improve mood, and supplement the recovery process for patients of all backgrounds and conditions. Through 20 years of operation, MOC has grown to become the nation’s largest provider of live music to healthcare facilities by reaching over 760,000 total individuals in the hospital and serving an average of 75,000 patients per year across 20 cities.

SXSW Community Service Award Honorees


The SXSW Community Service Awards (formerly Dewey Awards / SXSW Community Grant) honors community do-gooders who employ new media tools and strategies to make the world a better place.

2019 Honorees – Individuals

Aideé Granados Mauricio Villada Lopera Rwenshaun Miller Sheena McFeely Estella Sanchez Fran Tarr

2019 Honorees – Organizations

Born2Walk Black Girls CODE HRA Studios and Foundation (HRAF) Lights Camera Discover StreetBooksATX The Colorado River Alliance

Read more about the 2019 recipients here.

Past Honorees

From 2000 to 2011, all honorees lived in the Central Texas area. Beginning in 2012, we opened the process to recognize national and international community activists.

2018 Honorees

Individuals: Chris Diaz, Catalina Escobar, Char Hu, James Jack, Linda Novick O’Keefe, Celeste C. Smith

Organizations: Allies Against Slavery, Creative Action, Gamers Outreach, Jeremiah Program’s, Kids In A New Groove (KING), Urban Roots

2017 Honorees

Individuals: Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Blair Glencorse, Nicolas Hazard, Teresa Y. Hodge, Kwaku Kyei, Bobby Moore, Barbara Moser, Mgr. Ing. Dita Přikrylová, Courtney Santana, Dese’Rae L. Stage

Organizations: Austin Youth River Watch, Moms-in-Film, The Nobelity Project,, SongwritingWith:Soldiers

2016 Honorees
Kara Andrade, Richard Bbaale, Maria Rose Belding, Emile Cambry, Jr., Robi Damelin, Ali Gohar, Marissa Jennings, Meghana Reddy, Marty Tenenbaum, Priya Verma

2015 Honorees
Karthik Dinakar, Justin Graves, Jukay Hsu, Karen Kocher, Brittany Martin, Rebecca McDonald, Libby Powell, Tembinkosi Qondela, Dr. Catalina Rojas, and Dr. Abdullah Saleh

2014 Honorees
Gwendolyn Floyd, Clara Tsao, Marie Duffy, Noeline Kirabo, Stephanie Downs, Alejandro Maza, George Luc, Mark Horvath, Raymar Hampshire, and Tony Carr

2013 Honorees
Madhura Bhat, Elizabeth Davidson, Arlene Ducao, Rey Faustino, Gene Gurkoff, Elena Lagoudi, Simeon Oriko, Amanda Quraishi, Ben Sawyer, and Rich Schwerdtfeger

2012 Honorees
Judy Brewer, Laura Deutch, Brian Elliot, Izzy Johnston, Jacquie Jones, Becci Manson, Jose Gomez Marquez, Aleph Molinari, Josh Nesbit, and Humberto Pérez

2011 Honorees
Jim Allan, Tricia Barry, Lisa Byrd, Roberta Przybylski, Brian Ramos, Mando Rayo, Connie Reece, Carl Settles, Allan Weeks, and Monica Williams

2010 Honorees
Meredith Beal, Stacy Bouwman, Sue Cole, Dario “Marty” Martinez, Gordon Montgomery, Maria Morrissey, David Neff, Angela-Jo Touza-Medina, and Ken Starks

2009 Honorees
Anthony Bertucci, Andres Carvallo, Julia Cuba, Laura Donnelly, Juan Garcia, Leroy Jones, Lisa McWilliams, Joanna Nigrelli, Alicia Rascon, and Sam Robertson

2008 Honorees
Maria Morrissey, Diana Prechter, Betty Sue Flowers, Linda Litowsky, Ron Lucey, Lisa Moretti, Heberto Ochoa-Morales, Christian Raymond, Lodis Rhodes, Gene Rodgers, and Glenda Sims

2007 Honorees
Branda Adrian, Shahed Amanullah, Donny Branam, Rodney Gibbs, Bobbie Guerra, Kathy Keller, Joyce Lauck, Pat Pound, Harvey Smith, and Stefan Wray

2006 Honorees
Silona Bonewald, Jeanine Christensen, Thea Eaton, Joe Faulk, Sheena Harden, Sheri Graner Ray, Dave Sanders, Dr. John Slatin, Dale Thompson, and Richard Yu

2005 Honorees
Tiffany Galligan, Steve Guengerich, Wendell Handy, Josie Hughes, Adina Levin, Nick Lewis, Chip Rosenthal, Randi Shade, Roger Steele, and Artis C. Street

2004 Honorees
Janet Blake, Perce Collins, Tim Harell, Katherine Jones, Walter Lenoir, Herman Lessard, Rich MacKinnon, Trent Sharp, Adam Weinroth and Kevin Zappernick

2003 Honorees
Bianca Bickford, Gary Chapman, Jaynes Cravens, Teresa Ferguson, Richard Halpin, Rondella Hawkins, Jan McSorley, Monica Roesch, Leroy Smith, and Sharon Strover

2002 Honorees
Ilekna Abounader, Steve Amos, Dennis Borel, Lisa Goldman Carney, Ana Cisnette, Danny Gomez, Mona Gonzalez, Jon Lebkowsky, Sharron Rush, and Melvin White

2001 Honorees
Ana Cisnette, Karen Krepps, Keith Rutledge, and Rachel Muir

2000 Honorees
Dave and Jennifer Evans

1999 Honorees
Dorothy Winburne

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