See something courageous? Report it.


Billy Frank, Jr. was the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Courage Award winner.

What does courage look like?

Through a haze of hateful twitter attacks, robust polarization in media, and the decline of civil dialogue in public life, habits of courage are more often rewarded with criticism than celebration. Perhaps it’s easier to see it with the perspective that only comes with time.

Children gathered around a piano at Camp Harmony following Executive Order 9066. The only woman to serve as Seattle’s mayor taking a hard stance against police corruption. A tribal leader under arrest for the 50th time to protect the sovereignty of tribes and their right to harvest Northwest salmon.

Courage can easily be found throughout our local history. But we want to catch people in the act today.

Each year, the Crosscut Courage Awards recognize those individuals among us who have shown bold leadership and enduring courage, despite personal or organizational risk. Honorees are recognized in the categories of public service, culture, business and lifetime achievement at the Courage Awards Breakfast on October 14th.

We rely on you, our readers and community, to help us root out these individuals or teams, and bring them to the spotlight. Not just so that we can honor their habits of courage, but also so that we can learn from them. Please take a moment to nominate a bold leader before August 16.

At that point, a committee of civic, community, and business leaders facilitated by Crosscut's editorial team will select the winners based on the following criteria:

  1. Innovating despite criticism
  2. Showing uncommon, selfless leadership
  3. Inspiring and instructing others in public service, business and cultural leadership
  4. Following data and best practices even when custom and tradition say otherwise
  5. Taking a risk to successfully break gridlock

Tell us, where do you see courage today?

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About the Authors & Contributors

Tamara Power-Drutis

Tamara Power-Drutis is a writer, researcher and the former executive director of Crosscut.