Announcing the Civvys Award

I’m not a huge fan of award shows on television.

Here’s one that I think is worth paying attention to even if its recipients won’t walk down some red carpet and be shown on some obscure cable network.

The first Civvys will be awarded in October. As their web site puts it, “The Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation, organizations committed to the fight against partisan rancor and division, have joined forces to announce the first annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, or the Civvys.”

The two organizations are part of a growing network of groups that are trying to reduce the ideological divisions among Americans so that we can find cooperative solutions to our country’s many problems. The award is designed to honor an individual or organization that

  • Has a direct impact on America at a local, state or national level
  • Uses collaboration, community input and other collective action principles to make a difference
  • Embodies civility and mutual respect

You can see what they are driving at by watching this short video:


If you are so inclined, you can nominate someone by filling in a form on the Civvys home page. Nominations are due by September 15, 2017 and the winners will be announced in October.

I first heard about the Civvys yesterday. When I opened by New York Times app this morning, I found the first person I intend to nominate even though he hardly needs the recognition.

To paraphrase the story’s title, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been barnstorming the country to promote corporate moral responsibility. Like many CEO’s, Cook has been critical of the current administration on a number of fronts.

But here he talks constructively in ways that should make his a good candidate to be the first Civvy. “I think we have a moral responsibility to help grow the economy, to help grow jobs, to contribute to this country and to contribute to the other countries that we do business in.”

Of course, he focuses on the kinds of things Apple does well and could also make it even more money. For instance, he talks about community college programs that teach young people to code and write apps for my beloved iPhone, iPad, and iMac.

But more importantly, Cook and other executives of his ilk understand that the corporate world has to step up to provide what economists call public goods which the government is no longer willing or able to offer.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Alliance for Peacebuilding or its members.

Also published on Medium.

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