If there was ever a year when we all needed some inspiration, 2020 would be it.
Amid all the serious issues the world has faced this year, there have also been moments of hope and humanity.
This Sunday night, CNN shines a spotlight on those moments and the people behind them during its annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. We’ll also reveal the viewer’s choice for the moment that inspired CNN’s audience the most this year.
For the past 14 years, CNN Heroes has honored everyday people committed to making the world a better place. Co-hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Kelly Ripa, the annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute is usually broadcast in front of a live audience but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was pre-taped.
Celebrity presenters include actresses Angela Bassett, Millie Bobby Brown and Gal Gadot, actors Orlando Bloom and Jeffrey Wright, special guests Dr. Anthony Fauci and Chef José Andrés, and a special performance by Cynthia Erivo.
Honoring those who gave us hope
The two-hour special salutes everyday people who became bright spots during this challenging year – frontline workers, advocates, scientists, teachers and neighbors – by going above and beyond to help those in need and push for social justice. Among those being recognized:
- Covid-19 ICU nurse Shannon Basara endures untold stress at her job but benefited from the First Descents Hero Recharge program, which provides free adventures to frontline workers
- Scientist Mike Smith worked round the clock to develop a vaccine for Moderna.
- Dawn Baker, a volunteer vaccine tester and the first person in a Phase 3 clinical trial in the US
- Rahul Dubey sheltered 72 Black Lives Matter protesters overnight to prevent them from being arrested
- Tattoo artist Ryun King helped start the Cover the Hate campaign to cover hate tattoos for free
- Michelle Brenner earned the nickname of the “Lasagna Lady” by making and delivering thousands of free homemade lasagnas to anyone in her community
- Shelly Tygielski founded Pandemic of Love to match up people who need help with those who can provide it
- Desmond Meade, of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition worked to extend democracy in his home state by removing obstacles that prevented citizens with felony convictions from being able to vote
- DJ D-Nice brought his unique brand of joy to people in quarantine
Three “Young Wonders” will also be honored for their extraordinary efforts: Cavanaugh Bell, 8, delivered hundreds of care packages to seniors and opened a community food pantry; Tiana Day, 18, led a Black Lives Matter protest across the Golden Gate Bridge in June and then launched her non-profit; and student pilot TJ Kim, 16, has flown essential PPE supplies to rural hospitals.
How to watch
CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will stream live on CNN TV on Sunday, December 13 from 8-10 p.m. ET and for subscribers via CNNgo at CNN.com/go and CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. It will also be simulcast during this time on CNN International and CNN en Español.
The show will also be available the day after the 12/13 broadcast premiere on demand via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.
CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will be available on HBO Max starting Thursday, December 17.
Current HBO subscribers may have free access to HBO Max and should visit HBOMax.com for more information.
How to get involved
CNN Heroes has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for eight organizations that are making the world a better place. Their missions include helping students and teachers prepare for tomorrow, ending the stigma around mental illness, fulfilling the wishes of children with critical illnesses and many more.