The Elevate Prize Foundation Announces Judging Panel for Third Annual $5 Million Prize for Social Activists & Entrepreneurs

Tiana Day named the first Gen Z judge for the Elevate Prize, joining panel that now also includes past winners Amanda Nguyen and Dixon Chibanda

In alphabetical order: Amanda Nguyen, Dr. Dixon Chibanda, Joseph Deitch, Natalie Tran, Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili, Sanjiv Mirchandani, Sheila Roche, Stephanie Cornell, Tenzin Priyadarshi, Tiana Day, and Topher Wilkins. (Photo: Business Wire)

MIAMI--()--The Elevate Prize Foundation announced the judging panel for its third-ever Elevate Prize, a $5 million award presented to 10 social entrepreneurs and changemakers working to solve pressing issues around the world.

In recognition of Gen Z’s rising role in social impact, the Foundation has brought on 19-year-old social activist Tiana Day to serve as the Elevate Prize’s first Gen Z judge. Day, the founder of Youth Advocates for Change, is well-known for her work within the Black Lives Matter movement and was recognized as a CNN “Young Wonder” in 2020.

Other new names to the judging panel include inaugural Elevate Prize winners Amanda Nguyen, the Founder and CEO of Rise, and Dixon Chibanda, Founder and CEO of Friendship Bench. Stephanie Cornell, DRK Foundation’s Managing Director, will also join the panel for the first time.

"We are honored to have such an incredible slate of esteemed judges joining us this year. From activism to philanthropy, from helping to lead countries to being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, they are each forces for change, much like our winners,” said Carolina Garcia Jayaram, CEO of The Elevate Prize Foundation. “Exemplifying this point, we have two former winners serving as judges, bringing their experience to the panel. I am also thrilled to welcome Tiana Day – as a young social impact leader, she will bring Generation Z’s perspective into the process, which is so essential as Gen Z is arguably the most vocal and transformative generation in driving change today."

In the coming weeks, the judging panel will narrow down finalists for the next Elevate Prize before announcing the winners, who will go on to receive a minimum of $300,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as mentorship and capacity-building resources.

The judging panel for the third annual Elevate Prize includes:

  • Tiana Day, Founder of Youth Advocates for Change
  • Amanda Nguyen, Founder and CEO of Rise; 2022 TIME Woman of the Year; 2020 Elevate Prize Winner
  • Dr. Dixon Chibanda, Founder and CEO of Friendship Bench; 2020 Elevate Prize Winner
  • Stephanie Cornell, Managing Director of the DRK Foundation
  • Joseph Deitch, Founder of The Elevate Prize Foundation; Chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network
  • Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili, Economic Policy Expert/Senior Economic Adviser, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI); Co-Founder of #BringBackOurGirls Movement
  • The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, President and CEO of Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT
  • Sheila Roche, Chief Creative & Communications Consultant at (RED); Co-Founder of Hive
  • Natalie Tran, Executive Director of CAA Foundation
  • Topher Wilkins, CEO of Opportunity Collaboration; Co-Founder of
  • Sanjiv Mirchandani, Former Head of the Client Relationship Group at Fidelity Institutional

“For young people, advocacy is not a choice anymore. They know if they want to see change that will impact their future, they must be the ones to initiate it. Oftentimes youth are invalidated due to their age, but I believe my generation holds the power to not only speak up about inequities but also take action,” said Tiana Day. “I like to think of youth advocacy as a domino effect; if a student sees their friend begin to get involved in social activism, then they are more likely to get involved as well. This is why it is important that society represents youth voices causing them to be considered viable and valuable stakeholders, and their input to be normalized. For this year’s Elevate Prize, I am excited to bring that perspective and sense of urgency to the judging process and to help identify leading activists and entrepreneurs advocating for the change that my generation believes in. I know by joining this judging panel I am representing young people across the nation, and I could not be more grateful for this opportunity.”

Founded by Joseph Deitch in 2019 and headquartered in Miami, The Elevate Prize Foundation aims to serve as an engine for social good by helping changemakers raise their visibility, inspire others and, ultimately, multiply their reach and impact to “Make Good Famous.” In addition to its annual Elevate Prize, the Foundation recognizes prominent individuals who use their influence to inspire social action through The Elevate Prize Catalyst Award. Previous recipients include George and Amal Clooney, as well as Trevor Noah.

The Foundation’s newest initiative, The Elevate GET LOUD Award, issues a grant each month to help fuel grassroots movements and organizers on the frontlines committed to collective action and building power among communities. Nominations are opened to the wider public on Instagram in an effort to continue to democratize philanthropy and provide a platform for all people to drive impact directly.

About The Elevate Prize Foundation

Founded in 2019 by businessman and philanthropist Joseph Deitch, The Elevate Prize Foundation is a global non-profit that empowers social entrepreneurs and activists by providing them with the resources they need to amplify their impact. The Foundation’s signature program is its annual Elevate Prize, which is awarded to 10 or more global leaders tackling pressing issues in innovative ways. The Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, another one of the Foundation’s programs, recognizes prominent individuals for their commitment to inspiring global social action and using their influence for the good of humanity. In 2022, the Foundation launched The Elevate GET LOUD Award, a monthly grant to fuel grassroots movements and organizers on the frontlines committed to collective action and building power among communities. For more information, visit and follow @ElevatePrize on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.


Makena Dingwell

Release Summary

The Elevate Prize Foundation announces the judging panel for its next Elevate Prize, a $5 million award presented to 10 global changemakers.


Makena Dingwell