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John Legend Selected as Honoree for National Civil Rights Museum’s Prestigious Freedom Award

Legend joins Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Bono and others on the list of Freedom Award changemakers.

/EIN News/ -- Memphis, Sept. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JOHN LEGEND is one of three honorees selected for the National Civil Rights Museum’s 28th Annual Freedom Award to be held on October 30. Honorees are selected for their many achievements and contributions on a national and global scale in the name of equality, social justice and freedom for all. Other 2019 honorees include author and feminist organizer, Gloria Steinem and Nigerian human rights activist, Hafsat Abiola. 

John Legend is an award-winning entertainer, social justice activist and philanthropist. Legend has worked in music for over 20 years becoming the youngest artist to complete the prestigious EGOT as an Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony Award winner. His musical work on films highlighting the Civil Rights Movements, such as Selma and advocacy for education have lauded national and international acclaim. He founded Show Me Campaign to break the cycles of poverty for children, and most recently, Let’s Free America campaign. He is also a former national board member for Teach for America. Legend continues to use his larger-than-life platform to inform and advocate on behalf of disenfranchised populations.

“John Legend is not only a talented artist, he is also one who has used his international platform to educate, advocate and follow through on social justice issues that affect all to influence change,” said Terri Lee Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum President. “His unwavering willingness to be on the frontlines of change is just as impactful as his art, and we are excited to honor him this year.” 

Additionally, Freedom Award will pay tribute to the Green Book, also known as the Negro Travelers’ Green Book, that identified safe accommodations and services for African Americans traveling during the Jim Crow Era, which included the Lorraine Motel, the current site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Over the past 27 years, 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. C.T. Vivian, Alonzo Mourning, Danny Glover, Julius “Dr. J” Ervin, Eva Longoria Parker, Dr. Dorothy Cotton, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Vice President Al Gore, Diane Nash, B.B. King, John Hope Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Ava DuVernay, Swin Cash, Benjamin Crump, Tawakkol Karman, Soledad O’Brien, The Honorable Damon Keith, 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 Tennessee Foundation.

Tickets and sponsorships are available at

Connie Dyson
                    National Civil Rights Museum
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