Obama made history by becoming the nation's first Black First Lady when her husband Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States in 2009. During Obama’s two terms, she was an advocate for healthy families, service members, higher education, and international adolescent girls’ education.
The Poor People’s Campaign, which is named after the 1968 Poor People’s March on Washington which was organized by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., works “to combat systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, and religious nationalism.”
Located in Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum is situated on the grounds of the former Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Established in 1991, the Freedom Award recognizes “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.”
Past recipients include Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., filmmaker Ava Duverney, journalist Tom Brokaw, attorney Benjamin Crump, Nigerian human rights activist Hafsat Abiola, and civil rights leader John Lewis.
The virtual ceremony will take place on Oct. 14.