George Logothetis Inspiring Speech at the Courage Awards

Logothetis Courage Awards
“Optimism is the vanguard for courage,” Logothetis said. Credit: It Takes Courage/Facebook

George Logothetis, the Executive Chairman of Libra Group, gave an inspiring keynote speech during the inaugural Courage Awards ceremony in Panama City.

Logothetis described the Awards as the “equivalent of the Nobel Peace Awards for Courage.”

They were established in March this year by The Washington Oxi Day Foundation in partnership with Libra Philanthropies.  Titled “It Takes Courage,” the awards are aimed at celebrating everyday acts of courage by unsung heroes across the globe.

Manatos Courage Awards
Mike Manatos, Executive Director of the Washington OXI Day Foundation speaks at the Courage Awards. Credit: It Takes Courage/Facebook

“For those invisible aspirations, ideals, virtues that humankind strives for, it takes courage”, Logothetis said. “But is only through example that courage can be communicated, shared and instilled. We must learn, absorb, and be inspired by others.”

He stressed that the world needs an infusion of courage because there is a lot to be fearful of. He mentioned climate change, attacks on Democracy, and rising direct conflicts.

“But the first step against the fear is to have the courage not to be afraid of being afraid,” Logothetis stressed.

“How do we respond to something? With despair or hope? With caution or with courage? With fatalism or optimism? Optimism is not a word you usually associate with courage. But, I think this is the root of the tree of courage. Nothing is fateful in this world save for the loss of life or the loss of hope,” he noted.

Logothetis: Optimism is the vanguard for courage

“If you don’t think that good could prevail over evil or kindness can prevail over meanness if you don’t believe that tomorrow would be better than today, then there is no reason for courage to show itself. No reason to respond, to rise, to resist. Optimism is the vanguard for courage.”

Logothetis gave the example of the Panamian Foundation Voces Vitales, which runs Centro Las Claras, located in Felipillo. The Foundation, supported by Libra, helps teenage moms by providing emotional support and skills training.

He praised Gisela Alvarez de Porras, the chairperson of the Foundation describing her as a heroine to many suffering souls.

“Her visible optimism to believe in the invisible potential of these young mothers gives her the courage to confront the challenges she faces every day. Her courage leads to action, action leads to possibilities, and possibilities lead to progress, which leads to a better world. All these girls have dreams as a result of Gisela and Voces Vitales,” Logothetis stressed.

He added that there are two dimensions of courage: The immediate and the enduring.

“First there is a spontaneous response to save, to rescue, to place oneself to harm in service to someone else. A reaction to danger, a heroic reflex. The second dimension is enduring. Enduring for years to a justified and righteous cause. Underwritten by a belief in a cause and optimism.”

Recipients of the Courage Awards

The first-ever recipient of the Global Courage Award for Truth was Maria Corina Machado, a politician who has devoted her career to standing up for truth and democracy in Venezuela. She was the first Venezuelan political leader to denounce the regime and has led nationwide protests standing up for truth.

Because of her activism, Machado has been wrongfully barred from travel — her children accepted the award on her behalf.

The Global Courage Award for Youth went to Isauris Izquierdo Correa. When she was little, Isauris’ mother left her to the care of her grandmother, who is her only support network. Isauris found basketball began in 2021; she became curious after watching her peers playing it. What started as an activity for her free time quickly became her passion.

She dedicated more and more time to honing her skills. Her hard work paid off when she was selected for the Under 17 Women’s National Interleague Tournament in Bucaramanga. There, Isauris showcased her exceptional skills and was named the best athlete at the tournament.

Isauris has faced financial and personal challenges, but she hasn’t let anything stand in the way of her love for basketball. She dreams of joining the WNBA and is working to master English and French, so when her basketball career takes her overseas, she’ll be ready.

The Freedom Award will presented by the Washington Oxi Day Foundation on 30 October in Washington, DC at the US Institute of Peace.


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