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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Radical Heroes: Alice Marie Johnson

Audience Honor in Social Justice


Radical Heroes is a Starts With Us series featuring stories from extraordinary leaders demonstrating curiosity, compassion, and courage in action.

We sought people who exemplify powerful but often overlooked narratives. Stories that inspire people to ask themselves not what they would do when faced with absolute evil but the more relevant and meaningful question of how they would face down all the gray and messy parts of life and triumph. These are our “Radical Heros.”

On platforms filled with anger and division, these stories have broken through and begun to chip away at the idea that other people must change. Because, in reality, it starts with us. No better story says that than Alice Marie Johnson's.

Alice Marie Johnson is an author, advocate, and former federal inmate, a renowned leader, speaker, and luminary in the criminal justice reform movement. Her story received worldwide attention when Kim Kardashian West advocated for her release from a mandatory life sentence without parole. After almost 22 years in federal prison for her first and only conviction in a nonviolent drug case, she was granted clemency on June 6, 2018, and more recently a full pardon on August 28, 2020.

Strategy and Execution

These direct-to-camera mid-form videos center around subjects' personal journeys and the turning point that led them to practice the 3Cs (curiosity, compassion and courage). The subjects' work explicitly or implicitly bridges divides and makes viewers want to bring their best selves to whatever adverse situation they find themselves in.

We optimize the final video creative to be native for each distribution channel, and, generated optimal cuts and formats across Instagram, Tiktok, Stories (FB/IG), Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok.

We have a process for examining every aspect of the video creative including, copy, thumbnails, format, and structure of the video narrative. Furthermore, we used paid social to amplify the organic content posts, generate earned media through consumer press outreach, and leveraged our network of highly influential movement partners with large social presence to distribute the episodes.


Radical Heroes ft. Alice Marie Johnson is the best Starts With Us performing episode of all time, garnering over 4MM video views, 4.6MM impressions, & 44.5K total engagement across platforms, consisting mostly of organic viewership. Kim Kardashian organically shared our IG Reels post 2X to her IG Stories post to her 344MM followers and retweeted our tweet to her 75MM followers, resulting in our most-watched single post of all time (Instagram – 3.4MM video views). Additional celebrity and influencer support include George Takei (14.2MM social followers), Yvette Nicole Brown (500K twitter followers), Love What Matters FB (7.9MM followers), and Comrade Sinque (Prison TikTok community influencer 944K TikTok followers). Movement and founding partner and partner organization support include Alice Marie Johnson, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Daniel Lubetzky, Braver Angels, Lost Debate, BridgeUSA, Leon Ford, Heal America, Stand Together, and Convergence.

We also saw this video resonate with our audience. The conversation on social included comments like: 


Video for Radical Heroes: Alice Marie Johnson

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Starts With Us


Entry Credits