Nominations open for Crosscut's 3rd Annual Courage Awards

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A billionaire who speaks about the dangers of increased income inequality, and becomes a force in funding progressive, issue-based campaigns. Neighborhood organizers, who put themselves out there to bring people together to fight the good fights, and change the world for the better.

Our state is a national trailblazer, leading on issues both social (gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and more) and economic (moving toward a livable minimum wage). At our best, this is a place where good ideas can gain a foothold. At our worst, we give into "analysis paralysis", drag our feet, and value talk and consensus over action. It takes courage to move things in new, better directions, in the face of indifference, hostility, or simple preference for the same-old.

Whether its in public affairs, culture, or business, the best kind of people are those willing to take blaze new paths, and take stands for what's right. Crosscut is looking for your nominations of individuals who have stepped up to improve life in the region, or their own corner of it. This fall, we'd like to honor four of them. It is our hope these individuals will represent a diversity of thought and backgrounds, and your nominations can help ensure that. You can submit your ideas by clicking here.

The third annual Courage Awards breakfast will be held October 29 at Seattle's Benaroya Hall (Details and early registration here). Tim Egan, the Seattle author and New York Times opinion columnist, will deliver the breakfast's keynote speech at the breakfast, sponsored by Crosscut with presenting partner Pacific Lutheran University.

The four categories for this year's awards are public service, culture, business, and lifetime achievement. Last year, the winners were:

  • Lifetime Achievement: the late Billy Frank Jr., who built bridges across political and cultural divides in addressing tribal fishing rights and numerous other issues.
  • Courage in Business: Community Sourced Capital, which helps businesses leverage their own communities to provide zero interest loans;
  • Courage in Public Service: to Eastside Catholic students, for expressing their concerns about the firing of an administrator for his same-sex marriage;
  • Courage Award in Culture: Valerie Curtis Newton, head of Performance at the University of Washington’s School of Drama, and a founder of African American theater company The Hansberry Project.

The Courage Awards grew out of a desire to celebrate the leaders who push ahead, even in the face of skepticism or opposition, for the good of the region and those around them. They aren't in it for the credit or glory. As former Crosscut Publisher Greg Shaw said when launching the awards, "Too often we complain that leadership lacks guts." Help us highlight those individuals who don't.

To weigh in on any or all of the categories, please submit your nominations by clicking here. Once all your ideas are collected by Monday, August 17, they'll be considered by an advisory panel of individuals from across the community. Winners will be notified by the end of September.


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