Clooneys, John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson recognized by National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 17, 2021
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Amal and George Clooney, John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson honored by Freedom Center
International Freedom Conductor Awards induct four new modern-day freedom heroes
CINCINNATI – Four modern-day freedom conductors were recognized Saturday evening at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s International Freedom Conductor Awards. Amal and George Clooney, Bryan Stevenson and the late Congressman John Lewis joined the ranks of past award recipients and social justice icons Rosa Parks, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and more.
The International Freedom Conductor Award is the Freedom Center’s highest honor. The award recognizes the contributions of contemporary individuals who, by their actions and personal examples, reflect the spirit and courageous actions of conductors on the historic Underground Railroad, the nation’s original social justice movement. The inaugural award was presented to Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks in 1998. Since then, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dorothy Height, Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, Nicolas Kristof, Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela and Judge Nathaniel Jones have received the honor.
“As many despair in the darkness of injustice and oppression, our International Freedom Conductors stand bright and defiant, showing the power of an individual emboldened in the name of freedom to extinguish the darkness,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “The work of Mr. Stevenson, Congressman Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. Clooney represent systemically, historically and categorically the injustices we continue to fight in our pursuit of freedom. They are conductors on our current path to freedom.”