Caux Round Table Presents 2023 Dayton Award to Liz Collin of Alpha News

The Caux Round Table Principles for Moral Government reflect the special legacy of Minnesota leadership in seeking the common good.  I believe it was Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey who, in 1861, responding to the call of newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln, committed the first military regiment to serve the Union cause in the Civil War.  Minnesota lawyer Frank B. Kellogg, as U.S. Secretary of State, in 1928, took the lead with Aristide Briand of France to establish by treaty a principle in international law on the illegality of aggression.  Later, Harold Stassen and Hubert Humphrey provided national and international leadership for the United Nations and the Peace Corps.  Hubert Humphrey’s demand at the 1948 national convention of the Democratic Party that racial segregation in the U.S. must end spoke moral truth to power.

For 2023, our board has selected from among those nominated Liz Collin of Alpha News to receive the Dayton Award for her documentary, The Fall of Minneapolis.  In recommending her for the award, she was described as focused on mission, community and government impact, as well as having the vision and prudence of a level 5 leader.  She was credited with having a “powerful mixture of personal humility and indomitable will.”  “Her ambition is first and foremost for the cause of truth, not for herself.”

Pursuant to its principles for moral government, the Caux Round Table believes that discourse ethics should guide application of public power, as follows:

Public power, however allocated by constitutions, referendums or laws, shall rest its legitimacy in processes of communication and discourse among autonomous moral agents who constitute the community to be served by the government.  Free and open discourse, embracing independent media, shall not be curtailed, except to protect legitimate expectations of personal privacy, sustain the confidentiality needed for the proper separation of powers or for the most dire of reasons relating to national security.

Accordingly, the Caux Round Table has proposed a code of ethics for journalists, which proposes, in part:

Journalism is a quasi-public trust encumbered with fiduciary duties.  Journalism, as a business, provides a notable good of great merit for society.  News, information and well-argued opinion constitute a vital part of a society’s social capital.  Inaccurate news, false information and propaganda degrade a society’s capacity for finding common ground, mutual respect and tolerance.  The moral character of a society flourishes with responsible discourse to provide checks on extremism, stupidity and political authority.  Journalism is not entertainment.

It is the intangible of leadership that counts most for moral success.  There are essential abilities required to lead – integrity, courage, compassion, respect and responsibility:

Integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles.  Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing that demeans or dishonors you.  Integrity makes you believable, as you know and act on your values.

Courage is strength in the face of adversity and upholding what is right, regardless of what others may think or do.  Courage enables you to take a stand, honor commitments and guide the way.  Courage is a necessary element of responsibility.

Compassion is having concern for another.  It is feeling for and not feeling with the other.  Compassion is concern of others in a more global sense.

Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone.  Leaders ought to be respected and they ought to respect those with whom they work.  Demonstrating this perspective is essential to motivate and inspire others.

Responsibility is acting on commitment, will, determination and obligation.  Responsibility implies the satisfactory performance of duties, the adequate discharge of obligations and the trustworthy care for or disposition of possessions.  It is being willing and able to act in a life-enhancing manner.  Responsibility is expected of self, as well as from others.

In 2019, the first Dayton Award was given to Douglas M. Baker, Jr. of Ecolab, in 2020 to Andrew Cecere of U.S. Bank and Don and Sondra Samuels for leadership in the community, in 2021 to police chiefs Medaria Arradondo of Minneapolis and Todd Axtell of St. Paul for leadership in public service and in 2022, to Mary Kowalski and Kris Kowalski Christiansen of Kowalski’s Markets and to Kyle Smith of Reell Precision Manufacturing for leadership in business.