The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize


The purpose of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize is to recognize, honor, and encourage peacebuilding by members of our community, and to promote peace and understanding locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  

"Making Peace Local" since 2005

The GTPP Committee depends on corporate and individual contributions. Please consider including us in your charitable gift planning. Thank you!

Contact us for more information.


“When the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Committee honors ‘one of us locals’ with the Peace Prize, then it indeed honors all who endeavor in similar work, as well as those who support such activities and advocacy by others.”

2006 Laureate Bill Lincoln,

Conflict Resolution, Research and Resource Institute



Send us an E-mail:

Our Mission and Purpose






It is our wish that peace become reality in every corner of the world. Until that time may arrive, we honor those who work toward the accomplishment of that goal. Those individuals who focus on the building of peace in its many definitions are a continuing source of inspiration for all of us. (Click here to read further remarks made by GTPP Founding Chair Tom Heavey.)


for the 12th Annual Greater Tacoma Peace Prize

The nominee must have an affiliation with the Greater Tacoma area and must have contributed to local, national, or world peace efforts. (Any person or organization may nominate.) 

The recipient will be announced in April.


Deadline for Nominations: March 31, 2016


Click HERE for a nomination form, or go to How You Can Participate.

For more information, e-mail:



Dr. Chris Ferguson, GTPP board member, announced the name of the 2015 laureate at a Banquet in the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday night, May 2. 


Thomas Dixon, the "voice of black Tacoma" for over thirty years and mentor to two generations of African-American civic leaders, has been a vital force in Tacoma's 50-year drive forjustice and diversity. As we continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, it is timely that we honor this leading figure in Tacoma's non-violent struggle for racial and social equity.


Born the grandson of a slave in Georgia in 19,31, Tom remained in Tacoma after completing military service at McChord Air Force Base in 1964. Two years later he became the first director of the Hilltop Multi-Service Center and in 1968 became the inaugural executive director of Tacoma's new affiliate of the National Urban League, a position he held for 34 years. As Tacoma Urban League executive director, Tom Dixon worked assiduously for economic development, job training, social services, and the general benefit of all Tacomans. But as a leading black voice within black and multi-racial communities in Pierce County, Tom was in a key position to advocate progressive change to a conservative, predominately white city leadership; respond to an outbreak of racial violence in the Mother's Day Disturbance of 1969 with a strong voice of non-violence and conciliation; and was a leading figure in the formation of the Black Collective, a weekly gathering of black civic leaders that continues today.


As influential as the Urban League was during this era of enormous and often hard­ fought progress, Tom Dixon's most lasting contribution to Tacoma's transformation since the 1960s may have been his work with and place of influence within the Black Collective. From this rich and dynamic source of human energy have emerged such influential civic leaders as Harold Moss, Tacoma's first black mayor; James Walton, Tacoma's first black city manager; Bil Dixon, Tacoma's first black female city council member; and current city council member Victoria Woodards - all encouraged, supported, and mentored by Thomas Dixon.


Even today, at the age of 84, Tom Dixon continues his fight for social and economic justice with a strong, influential voice in equity efforts throughout the Pierce County area.

Text from the Nomination Form


From April 18 - 21, 2015 Co-Laureate Admiral Eric Olson met with our GTPP partners in Oslo and Lillehammer, Norway. We have heard from 
the staff at Norwegians Worldwide about their luncheon meeting with 
Eric and his wife Marilyn. Click here for the website article and photo 
or go to the Norwegians Worldwide Facebook page.

2012 Laureate Father Bill "Bix" Bichsel has died
Bix Bichsel Peace Tacoma
Father Bix at 2012 GTPP Awards Banquet
Our friend and 2012 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize laureate, Rev. Bill "Bix" Bichsel, passed away Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 PM. He was an unceasing peace activist and uplifter of the down-trodden. We are blessed to have known him.

Here is a link to a wonderful interview of Bix with Seattle Times reporter Mark Rahner (2009). 

And another link to an article by Steve Maynard in the Sunday (March 1) Tacoma News Tribune.


The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on December 10, in Oslo. We congratulate Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi on receiving this prestigious award. You may watch the entire ceremony here and read a BBC report about the ceremony here

GTPP 10th Anniversary Laureate Recognition Banquet 

2014 GTPP Laureates Dawn Lucien and Eric Olson

On Saturday evening, September 27, 2014, Dawn Sharp Olson Lucien 
Admiral Eric T. Olson, U.S. Navy (Retired), were honored as the 2014 recipients of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize. 

Attendees at the event attested to the inspirational remarks by all speakers, including GTPP Board President and Founder Thomas Heavey, Sr. and the Co-Laureates, Dawn Sharp Olson Lucien and Admiral Eric T. OlsonMs. Lucien and her son Adm. Olson, have both been formidable advocates for nonviolent solutions to difficult conflict and have served our local community and our nation for over forty years. They were nominated for the award by William F. Lincoln, Norm Dicks, and Clare Petrich. The Banquet in their honor was held in the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington.
Dawn Lucien and Eric Olson receive their award from GTPP Board members Janet Ruud and Thomas Heavey
2012 Laureate Fr. Bill Bichsel, S.J. with 2014 Laureate Adm. Eric Olson.
Former U.S. Representative Norm Dicks (one of the nominators of this year's laureates) with his wife Suzie (left) and GTPP Board member Janet Ruud, who is wearing a  traditional Norwegian dress (called a bunad). Guests at the 2014 Banquet were encouraged to wear Nordic attire because of the Norwegian-American roots of the founding of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize ten years ago.

The 2014 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize is awarded to Dawn Lucien and Eric Olson of Tacoma. Nominated by William Lincoln, Norm Dicks, and Clare Petrich, Ms. Lucien and her son Adm. Olson have served our local community and our nation for over forty years, seeking in their respective careers community and international peace.


Dawn Lucien has merged the spirit and skills of advocate and conciliator – always civil, transparent, influential, and effective. In many ways she has been the conscience of the community. As district manager for Congressman Norm Dicks, she played a key role in the 1990 Puyallup Indian Land and Jurisdictional Claims settlement. In the mid-1980s, she was instrumental in bringing together the federal government, the Puyallup Tribe, the Port of Tacoma, the City of Tacoma and numerous local municipalities and private partners. In retirement Dawn maintains strong relationships with all parties and is an informal and meaningful advisor. She remains an advocate for the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution; she has been a tireless contributor to community-based efforts to develop a first-class graduate degree program in dispute prevention, management, and resolution at the University of Washington – Tacoma.


Adm. Eric Olson, Dawn’s son, is a 1969 graduate of Stadium High School and a 1973 graduate of the US Naval Academy. In a career of over 35 years, he rose to the rank of Admiral, the first Navy SEAL to be promoted to the four-star rank, and ultimately served as the leader of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOC). Twice decorated for personal valor in combat, Admiral Olson advocates for the “deeper understanding of the context of any conflict as a means to predict the effects of our actions" and he has been widely quoted for his statement that "we cannot kill our way to victory in today's wars, so we must think our way to success." Retired in 2011, Admiral Olson remains a thoughtful leader for a more balanced military force, one that considers linguistic and cultural expertise as essential. In 2012, as keynote speaker at Portland District Rotary ’s “Peace Is Possible” conference, he reminded listeners: “Going to war is a political decision, not a military decision.”  He currently teaches a graduate course at Columbia University focusing on the challenges of "turning down the heat" in a time of global friction.


Together, Dawn Lucien and Eric Olson have been formidable advocates for nonviolent solutions to difficult conflicts. It is our honor to recognize these lifelong Tacomans as the 2014 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize laureates.

Read the article about our new Laureates in the News Tribune, published 30 May 2014.

Read the Foreign Policy Situation Report of June 2. 
FP's Situation Report: The tick-tock on Bergdahl; Derek Chollet in Kiev talking assistance; Shinseki's successor to have qualities he did not possess; USMC cleared in classification review; Eric Olson (and his mother!) win a prize; and a bit more. 
Be sure to scroll down all the way to the bottom of the report to read about the GTPP 2014 Laureates. (You can also check out the FP Situation Report on Facebook.)


Each year, the GTPP gives the recipient a trip for two to Oslo, Norway, to participate in "Nobeldagene" - the events surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize. The laureate also receives recognition on the GTPP perpetual plaque, a specially designed medallion, a Certificate of Commendation, and a unique glass artwork created especially for the GTPP by Tacoma’s Hilltop Artists.

Oslo, Norway
The Prize
  • The GTPP Perpetual Plaque
  • A unique glass artwork (bowl and olive branch) created by Tacoma's Hilltop Artists 
  • The GTPP medallion 
  • Certificate of Commendation 


Nominations for 2015 will be open from January 1 through March 31 of 2015.The nominee must be located in / affiliated with the Tacoma/Pierce County region. Please go to the page How You Can Participate to find out more about the nomination procedure.