(Memphis) They are pioneers and have created enough change to become 2013 Freedom Award Winners.
The National Civil Rights Museum is recognizing their work and also putting these trail blazers in the midst of school students at a public forum.
Ireland President Mary Robinson is the International Freedom Award Winner who works to promote Human Rights.
As the first female president of Ireland, she also championed women’s causes, even when it went against the establishment.
“I think it’s sometimes very important not to be arrogant about your beliefs, but if it’s something you really believe is right, be prepared to pay a price,” said Robinson.
National Freedom Award Winner Geoffrey Canada has been a trail-blazer in education, providing resources to poor families and showing how to save failing schools.
His Harlem Children’s Zone educational model is now being replicated all over the country.
“That’s the legacy I hope to leave. I hope to leave an institution that when I am gone people actually talk about how much better the person who replaced me is than I am. Then I think I have done a good job,” said Canada.
The Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Earl Graves Sr., had a message for everyone to take their own stand for justice.
He did just that when he started Black Enterprise Magazine and sponsored events focusing on black consumer power, business and wealth.
“Doing things, giving back to other people I think that is terribly important. You can do it at your church, you can do it at your synagogue. You can do it at the school you went to,” said Graves.
The award winners are being honored at the Freedom Awards Ceremony at the Cannon Center Wednesday night.