Cultivate the Karass was founded in response to devolving civil discourse, bipartisanship and lack of collaborative problem-solving in politics today. Our leaders no longer work across the aisle to find common ground on pressing issues, leading to gridlock in government and a declining trust in institutions.

To restore the public’s faith in our democracy, we must foster dialogue among our leaders regardless of party affiliation – and begin to find compromise and progress on the issues people care most about. Our emerging leaders are filled with passion, determination, and a willingness to bridge the gap – and we need to support them in doing so.  

We do this by uniting emerging civic leaders from different disciplines, with different political values and provide them with the tools and skills they need to engage in civic discourse, collaborate with those they don’t agree with, and come up with creative solutions to make society stronger. 


   REMEMBERING JAKE BREWER    January 20, 1981 – September 19, 2015

January 20, 1981 – September 19, 2015

What It Means to Cultivate the Karass

Cultivate the Karass is inspired by the life and work of Jake Brewer, a senior advisor for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who was tragically killed during a charity bike ride. After Jake died, we found a post-it on his office computer monitor a handwritten note with the phrase: Cultivate the Karass.

Your vulnerability is your strength.
Your pain is your power.
— Jake Brewer

Our Inspiration

  • We were inspired by Jake’s post-it note to bring more people together to dissolve barriers and biases.
  • We were inspired to help leaders move beyond the boundaries that often impede progress in the public sector.
  • We were inspired to give voice and a vehicle to leaders who are willing to work across disciplines, both in and out of government.

Lori Brewer Collins | Cultivating The Karass

Lori Collins remembers the life and legacy of her son, Jake Brewer (Code for America Summit, 2016).


Lori Brewer Collins | On Becoming a Loyal Antagonist

Keynote talk at Personal Democracy Forum 2017