Ocean State Stories wins Silver in international Anthem Awards competition

Honor comes as non-profit media outlet based at Salve Regina University’s Pell Center marks first year of publication

NEWPORT – Ocean State Stories has been named a Silver Award winner in the third annual Anthem Awards competition, the international organization announced on Tuesday. The win came in the “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Public Service” category.

“This is an unparalleled honour and a remarkable achievement!” the organization said. “With over 2,000 entries from over 30 countries—and celebrated by over 25,000 people during Anthem Community Voice—the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards is one of the biggest in our history.”

“We are humbled in accepting this award,” said Ocean State Stories director and founder G. Wayne Miller. “We take it as an affirmation of our mission to tell stories that matter to Rhode Island’s many diverse communities and to work to achieve needed change.”

Jim Ludes, left, and G. Wayne Miller, in the Ocean State Stories newsroom.

“Wayne first proposed creating ‘Ocean State Stories’ more than a year ago,” said Pell Center Executive Director Jim Ludes. “What he has accomplished in a relatively brief period of time is remarkable. It’s one thing to turn out quality journalism on a regular basis, but he’s also built a network of independent news outlets, cultivated a new generation of journalists, and told stories with the same sense of humanity that has been the hallmark of his reporting throughout his career. I’m thrilled he is being recognized for that work.”

“Brought to you by The Webby Awards,” Anthem states, the contest “honors the purpose & mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, [Anthem is] defining a new benchmark for social impact work that inspires others to take action in their own community.”

Judges this year included Marya Bangee Vice President, Representation, Inclusion Strategies and Engagement, Walt Disney Studios; Kwame Rose, social activist, artist and writer; Daniel Dae Kim Actor, producer and activist; Ashley Judd, author, actor, and social justice humanitarian; and Mona Chalabi, Data Editor for The Guardian.

Special Achievement winners this year include Misty Copeland, the first Black woman to be named principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre; actors Matt Damon, Kevin Bacon and Jessie Tyler Ferguson; and Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin. Past Special Achievement Recipients have included Dr. Jane Goodall; Gloria Steinem; Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield; Gabrielle Giffords and Amanda Gorman.

This week marks one full year of operation for Ocean State Stories, which from its launch on Feb. 7, 2023, has broadened its reach by forming partnerships with a growing number of print and online publications including the Cranston Herald, Johnston SunRise, Warwick Beacon ecoRI News, East Greenwich News, RINewsToday, Rhode Island Current and The Providence Eye.

A sampling of Ocean State Stories’ diverse reports can be found in The Year 2023 in Review post.

Read Anthem’s recognition and watch Miller’s acceptance speech: “Have mercy, seek justice, practice kindness, do good, and accept always.”