Memphis, TN, Sept. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Six-time Grammy Award-winning gospel and R&B artist BEBE WINANS headlines the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award on October 20 as the Museum honors TAYLOR BRANCH, ISABEL WILKERSON and FREDERIC W. SMITH.
Each year, the Museum’s Freedom Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights. The winners have blazed unique paths for the betterment of society, and the evening’s entertainment is a meaningful complement to their work for justice and equity.
“We are thrilled to have gospel legend, BeBe Winans headline the Freedom Award,” said Faith Morris, Freedom Award Executive Director/Producer and NCRM Director of Marketing and External Affairs. “BeBe’s message in her music resonates with what is happening in our communities, the nation and the world. Her performance will further amplify the importance and need for love to bring about change.
Benjamin, “BeBe” Winans, is the seventh child and youngest man in the Detroit-based First Gospel Music Family. He is best known as an inspirational, R&B, and popular singer and songwriter who, along with his musical partner and sister CeCe Winans, were the first true Christian crossover artists to reach mainstream audiences. In 2019, he released his first solo album in nearly 10 years, “Need You”, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel charts for the first time in his solo career.
Winan’s portfolio has extended beyond music into the entertainment industry. He is the former Executive Music Producer for OWN Network’s Greenleaf and hosts his own radio show on Heart & Soul Channel on Sirius/XM Radio Networks on Sunday mornings. Winans is also the author of two books: The Whitney I Knew, based on her personal relationship with the late singer Whitney Houston, and her autobiography, Born for This: My Story in Music.
The Freedom Award will bring another star for the inspiring evening. Featured in BET+’s “The Black Hamptons” and OWN Network’s “Queen Sugar,” LAMMAN RUCKER returns as host of the Freedom Award. Rucker’s work includes many beloved projects, including Own Network’s “Greenleaf,” the sequel to Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married,” and the hit sitcom “Meet the Browns.” Rucker is known for his on-screen work and is committed to meaningful off-screen work. The actor is a spokesperson for several charitable efforts and is the co-founder of The Black Gents, a non-profit organization designed to invoke positive change through high-quality, thought-provoking entertainment, youth empowerment initiatives and community services.
ED MABREY will pay an eloquently poetic tribute to the winners and to the occasion. He is currently the only four-time world slam poetry champion and Emmy winner. Mabrey has performed internationally and on several seasons of TV One’s “Verses and Flow.” Mabrey appeared on HBO’s All Def Digital. He is a two-time finalist in The World Series of Comedy and has been the voice of several company commercials.
The Freedom Award House Band led by award-winning composer/musician GARRY GOIN is always a highlight of the ceremony. As Music Director of the Freedom Award, Goin is an accomplished guitarist, songwriter, producer, National Artist, and entertainer. He has 40 years of experience in the music business.
Sponsors presenting the Freedom Award are International Paper, FedEx, Nike, Ford Motor Company, Valero Energy Foundation and Hyde Family Foundation.
Since 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum has awarded the Freedom Prize to some of the world’s most beloved civil and human rights leaders and history makers, 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, Reverend James Lawson, Cicely Tyson, Reverend Bernice A. King, Hugh Masekela , President Joe Biden, Reverend Jesse Jackson, John Legend, Hafsat Abiola, Gloria Steinem, the Poor People’s Campaign and Michelle Obama.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at prixliberte.org.
About the National Civil Rights Museum
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located in the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, provides a comprehensive overview of the American civil rights movement, from slavery to our days. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from all over the world have come, including more than 90,000 students each year. Serving as a new public square, the museum is committed to its mission to honor and preserve the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. It chronicles the American civil rights movement and tells the story of the struggle ongoing for human rights, serving as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change. Affiliated with the Smithsonian and an internationally renowned cultural institution, the museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the highest national honor for museums and libraries. These are TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% American Museums, Top 10 Iconic American Attractions in the United States Today; Top 10 Best Historic Sites in the United States by TLC’s Family Travel; To see before the age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, US Treasures by USA Today; and Top Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and 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 between 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 www.affiliations.si.edu.
Connie Dyson National Civil Rights Museum 901-331-5460 [email protected]