Sheletta Brundidge, the founder of ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com, has won the Anthem Award for Leader of the Year in the Human and Civil Rights category. The national award is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS).
“I’m both thrilled and humbled by this,” said Brundidge, who founded the company in 2020 with a group of friends.
A podcasting platform for Black folks, ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com has nine shows hosted by Black subject experts, with knowledge on topics ranging from travel to mental health to autism awareness to corporate diversity.
Brundidge conceived the platform as a one-stop-shop for cultural relevancy and spotlight for Black folks who have shut out of traditional mainstream media. The platform has evolved as a place where hosts share stories and talk about concerns with listeners hungry to hear voices like their own.
Brundidge was inspired to center her business around social justice and advocacy work after seeing a quote from Madam C.J. Walker that said, “I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we care not just about ourselves, but about others.”
The Anthem Awards honor social impact leaders. They are an outgrowth of The Webby Awards, founded in 1996 to honor excellence on the Internet. IADAS selected Anthem winners from a pool of more than 2,500 entries submitted from 36 countries. 2022 Anthem Award Winners include Trevor Noah, Naomi Osaka, and the 1619 Project from the New York Times.
The Leader of the Year Award honors “an individual person who is an outstanding pioneer and/or innovator leading a team or organization to engage a community on behalf of a Human & Civil Rights cause.”
“This is an individual award but I ain’t do this by myself. My podcasters are community servants who look for ways to uplift Black folks,” said Brundidge. “The JET Setting Divas did a gift basket giveaway for hospital workers earlier this month.
“Last summer, Dr. Verna Price held a block party near George Floyd Square. Jason Clopton hosted a town hall to talk to teens struggling with mental health issues at the height of COVID-19,” Brundidge continued. “Anissa Keyes just bought a building to provide affordable office space to BIPOC entrepreneurs. Chaz Sandifer is using cuisine to bridge the cultural divide.
“Whether I’m handing out free hams in North Minneapolis with Hy-Vee or working with Comcast to get the word out about their low-cost internet service, somebody from ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com is always out here doing something to help our community,” Brundidge concluded.
Actor Jay Ellis (“Insecure,” “Top Gun: Maverick,”) will host and present the Anthem Awards in a virtual ceremony on Feb. 28.
For more info, visit www.anthemawards.com.