Catherine Carlile awarded MLK Medal

'Advocate Catherine Carlile, wife of Grammy-winning rock musician Brandi Carlile, was awarded the Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service on Tuesday at the King County Courthouse for her work supporting social justice efforts in Washington and across the globe. 

King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, whose district includes Federal Way, Auburn and Algona, led the annual ceremony, which recognizes residents whose acts of community service honor King’s legacy. Catherine Carlile is the executive director of the Looking Out Foundation, a humanitarian nonprofit that aims to highlight “the impact of music by empowering those without a voice.”

She is one of nine people awarded with the 2023 MLK Medal of Distinguished Service. Additional awardees include former state representative and former King County councilmember Louise Miller and Robert De Los Angeles, chairman of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe. The remaining six recipients’ names will be announced next week.

Catherine Carlile, who attended the event with her wife and their daughters, Evangeline and Elijah, said she often shies away from the limelight but is proud to be the county’s 2023 awardee. 

“It’s so humbling,” Catherine Carlile told The Seattle Times. “It’s Pride month, so it means even more that I would be honored in June.” 

Brandi Carlile echoed that Catherine Carlile doesn’t like attention, but she said the award is a testament to her wife’s hard work. 

“As an artist living in rock ‘n’ roll time zones, she lives a different lifestyle than I do,” Brandi Carlile said. “This is her passion, and this is the direction that her heart takes her in.” 

“It’s both funny and just that she should be forced to be proud of herself on Pride month,” she added while laughing alongside her wife after the ceremony. 

The Looking Out Foundation has raised more than $6 million for social justice and humanitarian causes locally and across the globe. Some of the foundation’s most recent campaigns include raising $300,000 in one week for Syrian and Turkish earthquake survivors and $500,000 for LGBTQ+ communities as part of Nashville’s Love Rising benefit. 

Catherine Carlile, who is originally from the United Kingdom, and Brandi Carlile have been married since 2012 and live in South King County.'