National Civil Rights Museum Hosts Virtual Freedom Award Tribute December 11

Museum maintains support after canceling 2020 Freedom Award due to pandemic

Memphis, Tennessee, UNITED STATES

Memphis, TN, Dec. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Civil Rights Museum is presenting a Virtual Freedom Award Tribute on December 11 to celebrate the past 28 years of honoring phenomenal men and women fighting for civil and human rights globally. After the decision was made in June to cancel the public event due to COVID-19, the sustained pandemic gave rise for the need to inspire, uplift and celebrate achievements in spite of current circumstances.

Traditionally, the Freedom Award experience is a daylong event including the Student Forum and Pre-Show Gala with Red Carpet and the Award Ceremony.  The virtual experience is the best of the Freedom Award highlighting noteable national and international history makers for their untiring contributions to civil and human rights. It is a medley of entertainers and hosts who also bring poignant perspectives on important contemporary issues.

While this year’s guests will not walk the red carpet, they can participate in the virtual photo booth and engage with others on a livestream platform. The museum encourages attendees to share this inspiring moment with family and friends as a way to celebrate positive social advances while remaining focused on the work yet to be done.

For information and to RSVP for the virtual event, visit The site includes the museum’s past behind-the-scenes footage, honoree bio-videos, and photo galleries. The event hashtag is #VirtualFreedomAward.

Despite there not being an in-preson event, 41 sponsors are continuing their financial support of the Freedom Award particularly during this challenging time. Together, they have contributed $725,500. The museum is recognizing these ultimate supporters as Freedom Keepers who are supporting at the same level as they have in the past.

The museum thanks its Freedom Keepers including African Pride, AMPRO Industries Incorporated, Dr. Esmond & Pamela Arrindell, AutoZone, Bank of America, Baptist Memorial Health Care, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, The Carter Malone Group, Commercial Bank and Trust Company, Cummins, Dixon Hughes Goodman, Duncan Williams, Duncan Williams Asset Management, Ernst & Young, FedEx Corporation, First Horizon Foundation, Georgia-Pacific Memphis Cellulose, KBG Tech, Gibson Companies, Ann & Mason Hawkins, Highland Capital Management, LLC, Hilton Hotels, Hyde Family Foundation, Independent Bank, International Paper, Kroger Delta Division Marketing, R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Nike, Susan & Rob Pew, ProTech Services Group, Inc., Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., Smith and Nephew, Inc., Southeastern Asset Management Inc., State Farm, J. Strickland & Co., Tower Ventures Management LLC, Tri-State Bank, Valero Energy Foundation, and U.S. Chamber-Institute for Legal Reform.

Since 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum has presented its Freedom Award to 97 of the most lauded civil and human rights leaders and history makers in the world, including Coretta Scott King, President Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama, President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rosa Parks, Bono, Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Oscar Arias, President Mary Robinson, Paul Rusesabagina, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Tom Brokaw, Frank Robinson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bernard Lafayette, Marlo Thomas, Usher Raymond, Bill Frist, Dolores Huerta, Rev. James Lawson, Cicely Tyson, Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, Kirk Whalum, Southern Poverty Law Center, Susan Taylor, Rev. Bernice A. King, Hugh Masekela, Morris Dees, President-Elect Joe Biden, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Pitt Hyde, John Legend, Hafsat Abiola, Gloria Steinem and others. 


About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 students annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights.  It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change. A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.  It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among the Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at


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