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The Stranger's Dan Savage

Columnist Dan Savage and coffee giant Starbucks are being recognized by the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media program for their work on Seattle-based digital initiatives making an impact on the broader society.

The UW program’s annual Anthony Giffard “Make the Change” Award was given today to Savage and his partner Terry Miller for their work on the “It Gets Better” project, a worldwide initiative on YouTube to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids.

Starbucks won the award for its in-store Starbucks Digital Network, launched last year in partnership with Yahoo.

Starbucks, Savage and Miller “have shown just how powerful a great idea can be in today’s digital society,” said Hanson Hosein, director of the UW MCDM program, in a news release announcing the awards.

The award is named after professor Tony Giffard, founder of the MCDM program, a journalist from South Africa who challenged the status quo in the country at the height of Apartheid in the 1970s.

Said Savage in the news release, “As Tony Giffard used media, words and stories to disrupt apartheid, everyone whose participated in the ‘It Gets Better Project’ is using social media and their their stories to disrupt homophobia and self-hatred.”

Giffard and the MCDM program will present the awards during an event Friday evening at the Portage Bay Cafe in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Details here.

Previously on GeekWire: How sex columnist Dan Savage ended up in a Google Chrome ad

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