Freedom Awards

Since 1991 the Freedom Award has served as a symbol of the ongoing struggle for rights both in America and worldwide.




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Since 1991 the Freedom Award has served as a symbol of the ongoing struggle for rights both in America and worldwide. With this annual event, the National Civil Rights Museum has honored world dignitaries, past presidents, media luminaries, athletic legends, and more. The award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions in civil rights and who have laid the foundation for present and future leaders in the battle for human rights.

An International Freedom Award is given to an individual whose work has global impact or has impacted the state of human and civil rights abroad. A National Freedom Award is presented to someone who has influenced civil and human rights within the United States. The Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award celebrates individuals who have devoted themselves and much of their professions to enriching the lives of many and championing change for several decades.

And since 2009, the Legacy Freedom Award has honored a new generation of leaders who embrace justice, equality, and opportunity and have made an impact on society early in their careers.

 

1991     

James Farmer, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks

1992    

Barbara Jordan, Desmond Tutu

1993     

Marian Wright Edelman

1994     

President Jimmy Carter, Thurgood Marshall

1995     

Dr. Dorothy Height, Elie Wiesel

1996     

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Andrew Young

1997     

Colin Powell, Jackie Robinson

1998     

President Mikhail Gorbachev, Dr. Benjamin Hooks

1999     

Harry Belafonte, President Lech Walesa

2000     

President Nelson Mandela

2001     

President Oscar Arias, Sidney Poitier

2002     

Julian Bond, Rigoberta Menchu Tum

2003     

President Bill Clinton, Maxine Smith

2004     

Bono, John Lewis

2005     

Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, Paul Rusesabagina, Oprah Winfrey

2006     

Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Stevie Wonder

2007     

Dr. John Hope Franklin, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Earvin “Magic” Johnson

2008     

Al Gore, B.B. King, Diana Nash

2009     

The Dalai Lama, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Myrlie Evers-Williams

2010     

Dr. Dorothy Cotton, Eva Longoria, Dr. Wangari Mathaai

2011     

NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, Marva Collins, Dr. Bill Frist, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Delores Huerta, Rev. Ed King, Rev. Samuel Kyles, Rev. James Lawson, Leola Brown Montgomery, Alonzo Mourning, Usher Raymond IV, Bill Russell, John Seigenthaler, Susan L. Taylor, Cicely Tyson, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Kirk Whalum

2012     

Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Marlo Thomas, The Three Doctors, Dr. Muhammad Yunus

2013     

Geoffrey Canada, Earl Graves Sr., President Mary Robinson

 

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