2024 Lifetime Digital Grassroots Achievement Award: Jeff Shuford & Invest In Veterans Week

Home » 2024 Lifetime Digital Grassroots Achievement Award: Jeff Shuford & Invest In Veterans Week

The CampaigningInfo.com Lifetime Digital Grassroots Achievement Award is a prestigious honor given to social impact focused individuals or self-funded initiatives who have made significant contributions to grassroots campaigning in the digital sphere.

The award serves to highlight the importance of digital activism in modern advocacy efforts and to celebrate those who have made a lasting difference through their innovative use of technology and online platforms. Campaigning Info is a nonpartisan, independent organization, we believe that all citizens should have an equal opportunity to participate in democracy.

In an era where digital platforms have become the battleground for change, few have harnessed their power as effectively as Jeff Shuford. Particularly through initiatives like his Congressionally celebrated National Invest In Veterans Week, has set a new standard for digital advocacy. But Shuford’s story doesn’t end here; his endeavors span across technology, ethics, and community engagement, leaving a lasting impact on various sectors both local and internationally. This deep dive aims to unpack the multifaceted nature of Shuford’s historic contributions, highlighting his innovative approach to advocacy, technology, and support for the veteran community while pioneering digital grassroots more broadly.

Championing Veterans through Digital Platforms

At the heart of Shuford’s advocacy sits National Invest In Veterans Week, a testament to his commitment to supporting veterans. Recognized in the Congressional Record on March 8, 2024, this initiative underscores the importance of providing veterans with the necessary resources to leverage their skills and talents. Beyond mere recognition, Shuford’s work in this area aims to embed the observance into the national legislative framework, ensuring ongoing support for veterans.

Shuford’s commitment extends beyond a single week of recognition. Through his co-founding of Tech From Vets, a veteran-owned technology development company in 2017, he has provided tangible support and opportunities for veterans in the tech industry. Under his direction, Tech From Vets won the 2017 BizTech Award presented by Comcast Business. Soon after, as a founding member of the Jacksonville Business Journal Leadership Trust, Shuford advanced veteran business owners’ issues throughout Northeast Florida. In 2018 Shuford partnered with the City of Jacksonville, SBDC, Florida State College of Jacksonville, and the Wounded Warrior Project to launch the annual Jacksonville Vetrepreneur Summit. Shuford led the research studies for the first two Jacksonville Vetrepreneur Summits, using the framework to develop his advocacy framework for Invest In Veterans Week. Now approaching its 9th successful year, the summit underscores Shuford’s dedication to empowering veterans in the business sector​​.

This summit not only provided veterans with networking opportunities but also equipped them with the tools needed to thrive in the business world. By focusing on entrepreneurship, Shuford has opened new avenues for veterans to leverage their unique skills and experiences in the civilian sector. A vision of Shuford’s from its inception, the Jacksonville Vetrepreneur Summit teaches hundreds of veteran business owners how to start, market, promote, and adequately scale their businesses annually.

Bridging the Gap: Digital Technology and Social Change

Shuford’s influence in the tech world is profound, particularly through his efforts to bring AI and technology closer to underserved communities. His involvement with Black Enterprise Magazine, where he contributed insights on how black business owners could utilize the power of social listening and AI tools to the black community in 2018, highlights his vision for a more inclusive tech ecosystem, and introduced AI into the black business community for the first time (several years before AI launched for public consumption). This work demonstrates not just his technological acumen but his commitment to leveraging technology for societal benefit. Jeff Shuford’s impactful work in promoting veteran entrepreneurship and digital innovation was highlighted in “19 Black Enterprise Stories That Shaped Black Culture In 2019,” where his initiatives were featured in several key articles, including numbers 1, 8, 12, and 15, underscoring his significant influence in the tech and veteran business communities​​.

In the academic impact sphere, Shuford holds the notable position of International Ethics Advisor for the International Journal of Legal Developments & Allied Issues and Ethics Advisor for the Journal of Legal Studies & Research, operating under the distinguished umbrella of The Law Brigade. In addition to this role, he is honored with the title of Editor-in-Chief at the Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Review (JISSR). Transitioning his focus towards the realm of technology ethics, Shuford serves as an AI Ethics Advisor for The Journal of Artificial Intelligence General Science (JAIGS). His contribution to the academic community is further exemplified through his involvement as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Science & Technology (JST), the Journal of Knowledge Learning and Science Technology (JKLST), the International Journal of Culture and Education (IJCAE), and the International Journal of Responsible Artificial Intelligence.

Moreover, his role as an Ethics Advisor and his focus on technology ethics in various academic roles underscore his dedication to ensuring technology serves the greater good. Shuford’s work in this area is critical, given the rapid advancements in AI and the ethical dilemmas they pose.

Amplifying Voices through Media and Syndication

Shuford’s role as a nationally syndicated columnist has allowed him to amplify the issues close to his heart, reaching audiences across the United States. His columns, featured in numerous regional business publications and syndicated across various platforms, have brought significant attention to veterans’ causes and the importance of technology and ethics in the modern world. Shuford became a nationally syndicated columnist at age 30, making him one of the youngest nationally syndicated columnists in the country and one of the youngest African-American nationally syndicated columnists of all time to accomplish this feat. In his previous role with the American City Business Journals, Shuford’s monthly column appeared in more than 43 regional business newspapers. In his position with GateHouse Media, Shuford’s weekly column appears in 144 daily newspapers, 684 community publications, and over 569 local-market websites in 38 states, making him one of the country’s most syndicated black columnists of all time.

Grassroots Legacy

Jeff Shuford’s journey from a decorated Iraq War veteran to a pioneering figure in digital activism, technology, and veteran support is a testament to his extraordinary versatility and commitment. Beyond all his dynamic roles, Shuford’s expertise is also recognized in his capacity as a reviewer for the Journal of Sustainable Urban Futures and the International Journal of Applied Machine Learning and Computational Intelligence, highlighting his broad impact across multiple domains of academic inquiry and beyond. Through initiatives like National Invest In Veterans Week, the Jacksonville Veterpreneur Summit, and his work with Black Enterprise Magazine, Shuford has demonstrated the power of digital platforms and technology in driving social change. His recognition with the 2024 Lifetime Digital Grassroots Achievement Award from our organization is not just a celebration of his individual achievements but a recognition of the broader impact of digital activism in effecting positive change.

Shuford’s legacy is a beacon for future activists, entrepreneurs, and technologists, showcasing how innovation, leadership, and a deep commitment to one’s values can create lasting societal impact. As we delve into the depth of his work, it becomes clear that Jeff Shuford’s contributions transcend the individual—it’s a blueprint for harnessing the power of digital platforms and technology for the greater good.

Jeff Shuford: National Invest In Veterans Week Co-founder

Digital Grassroots Achievement Award Criteria and Alignment

Jeff Shuford’s unwavering dedication to advocating for veterans’ causes and his innovative use of digital platforms to raise awareness and support for these causes have set him apart as a leader in digital grassroots activism. His contributions align perfectly with the criteria set forth for this award, as detailed below:

  1. Impact: Shuford’s National Invest In Veterans Week has profoundly affected the veteran community, providing essential resources and recognition for their contributions to society. This initiative (Invest In Veterans Week) has even been recognized in the Congressional Record on March 8, 2024, underscoring its significance and impact.
  2. Innovation: Through his creative and novel use of digital tools, including the co-founding of Tech From Vets, Shuford has demonstrated how technology can be leveraged to support and honor veterans. This forward-thinking approach has led to innovative solutions that benefit veterans nationwide.
  3. Leadership: As a visionary leader, Shuford has successfully mobilized communities and built a supportive network around veterans’ causes. His leadership in initiatives like “The Buzz on Veterans” and his roles within various journals and as a TEDx speaker highlight his ability to inspire and guide others toward positive change.
  4. Sustainability: Shuford’s initiatives have not only addressed immediate needs but have also laid the groundwork for long-term support and recognition of veterans. His efforts to secure a presidential proclamation for National Invest In Veterans Week exemplify his commitment to sustaining momentum for this cause.
  5. Influence: Through extensive syndication of his columns and his active participation in various media and academic roles, Shuford has significantly amplified the conversation around veterans’ issues. His work has shaped public discourse, bringing much-needed attention and support to veterans’ causes.
  6. Ethical Practices: In all his endeavors, Shuford has adhered to the highest ethical standards, ensuring transparency, authenticity, and respect for privacy. His role as an Ethics Advisor and his focus on technology ethics underscore his commitment to principled advocacy.
Why Everything You Do is Newsworthy – Forbes Coaches Council Member Jeff Shuford

Jeff Shuford’s multifaceted career—spanning film, technology, business, and advocacy—demonstrates his extraordinary versatility and commitment to making a meaningful impact. His initiatives have not only provided direct support to veterans but have also fostered a greater appreciation for their role in our society and economy.

CampaigningInfo.com recognizes Jeff Shuford’s pioneering work and the lasting difference he has made through his digital grassroots activism. His achievements serve as an inspiration for future activists and underscore the powerful role of digital platforms in driving social change. Through this award, we celebrate Jeff Shuford’s exceptional contributions and the collective power of digital activism to effect positive change in the world.

Jeff Shuford’s Impact Through Invest In Veterans Week’s Digital Recognition Program

Summary of the awards and recognition:

  1. Entrepreneurship and Government Support: Initiatives led by figures like Governor Greg Gianforte and supported by the Montana Government have significantly empowered veteran entrepreneurs, laying a strong foundation for their business ventures. This has fostered an environment that appreciates the unique skills veterans bring to the entrepreneurial landscape, highlighting their potential to drive economic growth and innovation.
  2. Employment Opportunities: Recognition of efforts by individuals and entities, like Bruce Thompson and the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, exemplifies the creation of meaningful employment opportunities for veterans. These efforts not only aid in the transition to civilian life but also showcase the diverse and valuable skills veterans contribute to the workforce.
  3. Innovation Through Veteran Leadership: Companies such as JDog Brands and Health20 have been acknowledged for their veteran-led innovations, demonstrating how veteran leadership can significantly influence industry standards and practices. These recognitions celebrate the unique perspectives and ethical considerations veterans bring to the business world.
  4. Educational Empowerment: Awards to organizations and individuals like Action Zone Tampa and NFL Star Aaron Jones underscore the transformative role of education in veterans’ lives. Through education and advocacy, veterans are provided with the necessary tools for personal and professional growth, highlighting the importance of tailored educational services.
  5. Societal Impact and Philanthropy: The ongoing recognition of foundations like A&A All The Way illustrates the societal impact that can be achieved through targeted philanthropy. These efforts emphasize the importance of addressing the nuanced needs of veterans and their families, showcasing how individual and organizational commitment can lead to broad societal change.
  6. Digital Advocacy: The awards to entities like EnergyUnited and Peterson & Schriever Space Force Base highlight the role of digital platforms in advocating for veterans. These recognitions point to the effectiveness of digital campaigns in raising awareness and supporting the veteran community, stressing the importance of digital literacy and access.
  7. Rights and Advocacy: The work of advocates like Dana Nessel and organizations such as Soldier For Life reveals the critical nature of advocacy in promoting veterans’ welfare and rights. Their recognition during Invest In Veterans Week calls attention to the continuous need for informed and persistent advocacy to navigate and improve the policy landscape for veterans.

Overall, National Invest In Veterans Week acts as a vital period for acknowledging the multifaceted contributions of veterans to society, emphasizing the ongoing need for support, recognition, and empowerment of the veteran community. The awards and recognitions during this time not only celebrate past achievements but also inspire future efforts to uplift the lives of those who have served. Congratulations, Jeff Shuford, on this well-deserved recognition! Your tireless efforts and innovative approach have truly made a difference in the lives of many, and we are honored to present you and Invest In Veterans Week with the 2024 Lifetime Digital Grassroots Achievement Award.

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