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Inaugural Best of Humankind Awards Announces Jenna Bush Hager as Show Host

The Awards Show Honors Individuals Making a Difference

USA TODAY NETWORK’s Best of Humankind Awards, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), today announced that Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, best-selling author, and journalist will host the inaugural Best of Humankind Awards. The awards show, produced by USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures, debuts on demand on December 9 recognizing individuals who have demonstrated incredible kindness, compassion, and perseverance throughout the year.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

“I’m honored to host the inaugural Best of Humankind Awards and to recognize the strength and generosity of this year’s finalists,” said Jenna Bush Hager. “It has been exciting to work alongside the Humankind team to bring viewers an evening of feel-good and heartwarming stories that hopefully inspire others to perform selfless acts of kindness.”

USA TODAY’s Humankind franchise, founded in 2015, features engaging original video content of people experiencing and demonstrating extraordinary acts of kindness, triumphs, and accomplishments. With an emphasis on good news, the Humankind franchise has developed a deep connection with its audience. In 2020, Humankind produced 600 stories that resulted in over three billion views across USA TODAY, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. The franchise has expanded this year to include the Best of Humankind Awards, distinguishing those making a difference across 11 unique award categories. In August, during the nomination period, over six hundred individual submissions were received highlighting those who performed selfless acts that benefited their community. Award winners were selected through a public voting process in conjunction with a review by the Humankind Advisory Board, comprised of 41 Gannett and USA TODAY NETWORK employees

“The Best of Humankind Awards allows us to showcase extraordinary stories of the people in the communities we serve, shining a spotlight on those who positively impact others,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, President of the USA TODAY NETWORK and Publisher of USA TODAY. “These are the feel-good stories that engage and captivate our audience in a meaningful way, and we are delighted to honor these finalists and winners.”

The Best of Humankind Awards honors winners in the following categories: Best of Animalkind – sponsored by PetSmart Charities, Best of Militarykind, Best of Womankind, Best of Sportskind, Best of Earthkind, Humankind Educator of the Year, Humankind Healthcare Worker of the Year, Humankind Triumph of the Year, Humankind Act of Kindness Caught on Video, Humankind Person of the Year, and Humankind Viewer’s Choice.

Public voting to determine this year’s winners took place during the month of October and resulted in more than 70,000 votes. 2021 finalists include, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Kanwar Singh and Christopher Douglas for Best of Militarykind, Michele and Jeff Alan and Victoria Curtis for Best of Animalkind, Shreyaa Venkat and Dorothy Oliver for Best of Womankind, Heather Boone and Rene D. LaBerge for Humankind Person of the Year and many more. Winners in each category will be awarded $1,000 to help further their cause, with the person nominating them receiving $250. Additionally, during the show, viewers can enter the Best of Humankind Awards sweepstakes to win $1,000 for themselves and $1,000 to benefit a charity of their choice.

“Our communities are full of inspiring people who bring joy to others, and we’re thrilled to create a community to celebrate these people with the addition of the Best of Humankind Awards to the USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures’ portfolio,” said Jason Taylor, President of USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures. “We look forward to honoring this year’s finalists and winners as well as bringing their inspiring stories to our audience.”

The on-demand awards show will debut on December 9 at 7 p.m. EST on and will also stream on Humankind’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok platforms as well as the USA TODAY channel, available on most smart televisions and devices.

For more information on the Best of Humankind Awards, a complete list of finalists, and more, please visit


The USA TODAY Best of Humankind Awards, founded in 2021, honor everyday people who have showcased the highest level of kindness, compassion, and perseverance. Each Humankind award recognizes and celebrates an everyday person who is making a difference in their community. To learn more about the Best of Humankind Awards, please visit


USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures, part of Gannett Co, Inc. (GCI), creates impactful consumer engagements and experiences through world-class events, promotions, races, and technology. We strive to exceed expectations, create unforgettable memories, and drive value for our partners while leveraging our reputable institutions, including USA TODAY and more than 250 local media brands. The events and promotions that we build inspire pride in local communities and connect local and national businesses with highly engaged audiences. We are an industry leader and drive results from coast to coast. To learn more about USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures, please visit


Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a subscription-led and digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to empowering communities to thrive. With an unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of millions with our Pulitzer Prize-winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services. Our current portfolio of media assets includes USA TODAY, local media organizations in 46 states in the U.S., and Newsquest, a wholly owned subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom with more than 120 local news media brands. Gannett also owns the digital marketing services companies ReachLocal, Inc., UpCurve, Inc., and WordStream, Inc., which are marketed under the LOCALiQ brand, and runs the largest media-owned events business in the U.S., USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures. To connect with us, visit



Lark-Marie Anton


Senior Vice President, Communications

(646) 906-4087

Natasha Kersey


Public Relations Manager

(646) 745-6828

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