Civil Courage Prize
for steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk

About the Prize

This award arose from its founder's long association with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Through inflexible public resistance, in spite of imprisonment and exile, to the nightmare of Stalinist tyranny, Solzhenitsyn was central to its overthrow. English lacks a word for the heroic virtue that this great man exemplified: non-violent courage in cold blood and at extreme risk, in a civilian context, as distinct from valor in war. A noble few must hazard all from time to time for freedom and justice to survive in the world. If everyone says, "the devil take the hindmost," the devil soon works his way to the head of the line.

The prize does not seek to establish a ranking, like a competition, but to draw attention individually to some extraordinary heroes of conscience. Particularly, it seeks to establish the idea, and the words, of Civil Courage as a necessary bulwark of a good society. The prize does not take merely political positions. It only acclaims a few who resolutely combat evil, which it does not define: we know it when we see it.

Download the Fact Sheet [PDF 1.6mb]

Honorees to Date

Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Yu Jie of China
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro of Mexico and Triveni Acharya of India
Canon Andrew White of Iraq and the United Kingdom
Aminatou Haidar of Western Sahara
Ali Salem of Egypt
Phillip Buck of North Korea
Rafael Marques de Morais of Angola
Min Ko Naing of Burma
Anna Politkovskaya of Russia
Emadeddin Baghi of Iran
Lovemore Madhuku of Zimbabwe
Shahnaz Bukhari of Pakistan
Vladimiro Roca Antunez of Cuba
Paul Kamara of Sierra Leone
Natasa Kandic of the former Yugoslavia

Nominations

The recipient is chosen by the Trustees on the basis of nominations solicited primarily from non-profit, non-governmental organizations world wide. An organization may only submit one nomination, and unsolicited nominations are usually not considered.

Prize Advisors

The Hon. Glenn R.W. Babb
former South African Ambassador to India

George C. Biddle
Executive Vice President, International Rescue Committee

Professor Philip C. Bobbitt
International Strategic and Legal Scholar

The Hon. Hodding Carter III
University Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mr. Richard Gilder
Financier, Philanthropist

C. Bowdoin Train
Investor

Sir Robert Wade-Gery
former British High Commissioner to India

Mrs. Grace Warnecke
International Affairs consultant

The Hon. Frank G. Wisner
former US Ambassador

Past Advisors

Dr. John Chipman
Director, The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Mr. Robert P. DeVecchi
President Emeritus, International Rescue Committee

The Hon. Richard J. Goldstone
former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

Virginia Armat Hurt
Journalist

The Hon. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
former United States Representative to the United Nations

Mr. Kumi Naidoo
Executive Director of Greenpeace

Mr. John Dimitri Panitza
Chairman of the Free and Democratic Bulgaria Foundation

The Hon. Claiborne Pell
former US Senator

John Temple Swing
Former President, Foreign Policy Association

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 

 

— Return to top —

 

 

© Civil Courage Prize