The National Civil Rights Museum Debuts the Freedom Award Experience 2019 Globally on Social and Digital Media

Memphis, TN, Nov. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An audience of local, national and international leaders, changemakers and supporters of civil and human rights attended the 28th Annual Freedom Award October 30. Today, the National Civil Rights Museum presents its full Freedom Award Experience 2019 with event highlights including exclusive behind the scenes honoree and the full awards show.

“This is an exciting opportunity to share an inside look at the magic that happened on this special Freedom Award evening with our honorees and supporters,” says Terri Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum President. “We welcome everyone to engage simply by logging on from their computer or mobile device.”

Freedom Award honorees included feminist and civil rights freedom fighter and author, GLORIA STEINEM, EGOT winner and human rights champion, JOHN LEGEND, and Nigerian women’s rights activist, HAFSAT ABIOLA. Hosted by actor, Lamman Rucker, the Freedom Award also featured ecelectic performances designed specifically for the occasion by performing artist, Lil Buck, World Poetry Slam winner, Ed Mabrey, and classical harmonicist, Frédéric Yonnet.  The occasion paid tribute to the Green Book, or the Negro Motorists Green Book, that identified safe accommodations and services for African Americans traveling during the segregated Jim Crow Era.

With exclusive content from the daylong events including livestream recordings of the Student Forum and Pre-Show Gala with Red Carpet interviews.  There are also behind the scenes, oral histories, honoree bio-videos, photo galleries and more. To experience the Freedom Award, visit the event website at

Since 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum has presented The Freedom Award to some 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, Vice President Joe Biden, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Pitt Hyde and others. 

The Freedom Award presenting sponsors are International Paper, FedEx Corporation, Hyde Family Foundations, Ford Motor Company and First Horizon Foundation.

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. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to honor and preserve the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.  It chronicles the American civil rights movement and tells the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights, serving 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