Leaders teach kids lessons in civil rights - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Leaders teach kids lessons in civil rights

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The annual Freedom Award Public Forum was held Tuesday. The annual Freedom Award Public Forum was held Tuesday.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The annual Freedom Award Public Forum was held Tuesday. Leaders of the past and present taught Mid-South children a lesson in civil rights.

The theme for this year's public forum was "shaping a culture and building a nation."

Actor Laman Rucker was the emcee.

"We're here to talk about exceptional people," said Rucker. "We're here to talk about exceptional accomplishments."

This public forum was held at Temple of Deliverance Church of God and was attended by students from all around the Mid-South.

The kids heard inspiring words from business mogul Earl Graves, Sr. The lifetime achievement honoree reminded students of the contributions of young people.

"Need to understand that were it not for the young people more than 30 years ago, we could not have come this far including being able to elect an African-American president of the United States," said Graves, Sr.

Harlem Children's Zone School Founder Geoffrey Canada is the National Freedom Award Winner. He told students education is the key.

"Brown versus the Board Of Education, Rosa Parks, Dr. King giving away his life was for one reason... So young people who are black and Latino in this country could get an education," explained Canada.

Mary Robinson, Ireland's former president and a special envoy to the United Nations arrived a little late to the forum.

Awarded the medal of freedom by President Obama in 2009, Robinson like the other honorees told students that they were incredibly grateful to be honored in Memphis by the National Civil Rights Museum.

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