Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship

The Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship

The Puffin Foundation supports investigative journalism in the independent media seeking to highlight voices and stories often excluded or marginalized by mainstream outlets. The foundation’s commitment to journalism in the public interest allows Type Investigations to produce and place in-depth investigative stories in a variety of publications and to support independent reporters.

The Puffin Foundation and Type Media Center are the mutual sponsors of the Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship, which is given annually to an individual or organization who has challenged the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, and socially responsible work of significance.

The 2023 prize was awarded to voter registration non-profit HeadCount at Type Media Center’s Annual Celebration on May 8.

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HeadCount stages nonpartisan voter registration drives at over 1,000 events each year and collaborates with cultural leaders to promote civic engagement on a national scale. Since 2004, they have signed up over 1,000,000 voters nationwide. Andy Bernstein, Founder & Strategic Advisor at HeadCount, and Lucille Wenegieme, HeadCount’s Executive Director, received the prize on behalf of the organization.

2022 Puffin Prize Recipient Heather Booth


Heather Booth

Heather Booth is an American civil rights activist, feminist, and political strategist. Her work as an organizer has spanned from the civil rights, anti-Vietnam War and women’s movements of the 1960s, and continues today. Booth is the creator of JANE, an underground abortion service started prior to Roe v. Wade.


The National Network for Abortion Funds (NNAF)

The National Network for Abortion Funds (NNAF) is a network of over 90 community organizations that work with members to break down logistical and economic barriers to abortion. Debasri Ghosh, its the Managing Director, received the prize on behalf of the organization.


Desmond Meade

President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (Formerly Convicted Persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions.


Sunrise Movement

A youth-led political movement that advocates for political action against climate change through public spending that would create millions of new jobs. The organization has focused on building a consensus within the Democratic Party in support of the Green New Deal.


The Parkland Students

The Students, in partnership with young activists across the country, founded the March for Our Lives to end gun violence and challenge the complacency of lawmakers.


Colin Kaepernick

During the previous year’s NFL pre-season, the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback began refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of racism and police violence.


Bryan Stevenson

An acclaimed public interest lawyer who led the EJI to win major legal challenges to unfair sentencing, exonerate innocent death row prisoners, confront abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aid children prosecuted as adults.


William J. Barber II

A Protestant minister and NAACP board member, he was the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday movement, an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations in North Carolina.


Frances Fox Piven

A renowned social scientist, scholar, and activist whose commitment to poor and working people has bridged academia and social activism.


Barry W. Lynn 

Under his leadership, Americans United engaged in court challenges and public education on issues ranging from reproductive rights to school vouchers and judicial nominations.


Benjamin Todd Jealous

As the youngest person to lead the NAACP, he invigorated civil rights by building new alliances across progressive communities.


Tony Kushner

A playwright and screenwriter, his activism and artistic work has given voice to the marginalized and explored the most challenging issues of the previous fifty years.


Cecile Richards & Bill McKibben

This was the first year the prize was awarded to two recipients. Richards is a leader in national progressive politics who served as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 2006 to 2018, and McKibben is an environmentalist and author who writes about global warming, alternative energy, and advocates for localized economies.


Jim Hightower

Twice elected Texas agriculture commissioner, Hightower was praised for nurturing organic production, promoting alternative crops, regulating pesticides and monitoring groundwater.


Van Jones

Founder and president of Green For All, a national advocacy organization committed to building an inclusive, green economy to lift millions of people out of poverty.


Michael Ratner

A defenders of human rights and civil liberties, he repeatedly challenged the Bush administration on the constitutionality of indefinite detention and restrictions on domestic civil liberties.


Amy Goodman 

Host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, she was honored for her ground-breaking reporting and commitment to questioning those in power on behalf of those who rarely have a voice in the mainstream media.


Jonathan Kozol

An educator and author, Kozol was recognized for exposing socioeconomic and racial inequities in the public education system.


Barbara Ehrenreich

A political activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she is known for her work exposing the day-to-day indignities endured by the nation’s working poor.


David Protess

The founding director of the Innocence Project, he was at the forefront of a nationwide movement to exonerate innocent death row prisoners.


Dolores Huerta

A lifelong human rights activist and co-founder, along with César Chavez, of the United Farm Workers Union.


Robert Parris Moses

A social activist, civil rights pioneer, and founder of the Algebra Project, a mathematics literacy effort aimed at helping low-income students and students of color.