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UPDATE: November 18, 2022—This Is Us won the two Shorty Impact Awards it was nominated for: Social Justice and Arts & Culture. Congrats!
This Is Us tells the story of the Pearson family over decades, including matriarch Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore)'s experience with Alzheimer's later in life. During its final season, This Is Us collaborated with Caring Across Generations and HFC on a campaign "This Is Us. This Is Care. A Conversation," aimed to offer support to those caring for people experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia, or cognitive decline. The powerful work has now been recognized with two Shorty Impact Award nominations.
The Shorty Impact Awards is a social justice-oriented awards program dedicated to purpose-driven work. The This Is Us campaign is nominated in the Social Justice category, which honors a program, project, or initiative that seeks to address and dismantle systemic structural and interpersonal inequities based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability status and any intersection(s) thereof, and the Arts & Culture category, which honors a program, project, or initiative executed to promote and preserve arts and culture.
Storytelling is essential for representation, which is why This Is Us’s touching depiction of Rebecca’s struggle with Alzheimer’s was groundbreaking. In May 2022, cast members Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, and Jon Huertas, and series Executive Producer KJ Steinberg came together with Caring Across Generations Executive Director, Ai-jen Poo and HFC co-founders Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen to discuss the significance of putting Alzheimer’s and caregiving into the spotlight in a powerful conversation.
“I overwhelmingly hope that people feel a sense of community watching the show and recognize themselves and feel a sense of representation and we’re sort of opening that door ever so slightly to have a more nuanced conversation about caregiving in general, about dementia in general. I hope that’s what the show carries forth off into the world,” Moore said during the conversation.
“Our goal was to partner with NBC and the series to reach fans and make explicit what was implicit about the Alzheimer’s and caregiving narrative,” Caring Across Generations said of the campaign, per the Shorty Impact Awards website.
Throughout six seasons on This Is Us, the Pearson family's lives and interactions shed light on more common family experiences. Their stories can encourage and potentially inspire others to have the necessary conversations to help navigate challenges, including caring for those experiencing cognitive decline. Through putting the specific topic of caregiving and cognitive decline at the forefront, "This Is Us. This Is Care. A Conversation," helps to further that impact.
Voting for the Shorty Awards is currently open. Viewers can vote for This Is Us in the Social Justice and Arts and Culture categories by visiting the Shorty Awards official site. Voting ends November 9 and the winners will be announced November 16.
Watch every episode of This Is Us on NBC.
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