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Special Project

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From the 4th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Upworthy Presents: Sandy Hook

Entered in Education

About this entry

Upworthy believes in the power of a well-told story to change minds and change the world. Not only have we pioneered social-purpose media, but we have been able to use our ability to tell powerful, empathetic stories, combined with a data-driven approach, to build the largest concentrated audience of educated, affluent millennials who give a damn. We know the difference between the video that gets 1,000 views and 10 million — and the difference between getting lost in the noise and getting people to react and engage.

Upworthy and L’Oreal Paris partnered to promote Women of Worth, a program to honor women who are serving their communities through charitable work. Each year, L’Oreal recognizes 10 extraordinary women with a donation to their charities and access to a support network to amplify their efforts. Upworthy was tasked with using the power of storytelling to encourage nominations of inspiring women as well as champion past honorees. This content-focused campaign not only spotlights these women, but also raises awareness about the causes they are so passionate about.

For this video, we aimed to elevate a culturally relevant issue through an optimistic, personal story that would spark empathy and meaningful conversations. We told the story of Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, the founder of Classes 4 Classes, an organization that connects classrooms across the country to share their work and engage in social-emotional learning. Kaitlin started the organization after experiencing the Sandy Hook shooting firsthand, seeing the need for her students and colleagues to heal through action. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

We created a human-first mini documentary to learn more about Kaitlin’s experience on December 14, 2012 and how she’s used her voice to help others heal. This strategy allowed us to share the effects of gun violence in a conversational way to engage all members of our audience, no matter where they stand on the issue. Because gun violence and mass shootings are still extremely relevant topics, we anticipated this video to resonate well with our audience and beyond. And leveraging emotions through the eyes of a teacher and her students, we captured a shareable video to post on our social channels, with information about the Women of Worth program.


Not only did this video elevate the Women of Worth program, but also sparked an online conversation among our audience about the power of kindness following a traumatic event. This kind of content continues the need for a conversation around gun laws and keeps our audience informed about the aftermath of a mass shooting, when their attention has already moved on to the next one. In addition to this, we saw an overwhelmingly positive response to the story, especially when it came to championing teachers. This resulted in the recognition that teachers go above and beyond for their students and helped our audience realize the need to support all teachers for their contributions. 


Video for Upworthy Presents: Sandy Hook

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Upworthy, L'Oreal Paris

Entry Credits