NAACP Heroes Honored with 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom


WASHINGTON DC—The NAACP applauded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients today. President Barack Obama will honor 16 individuals with the nation’s highest civilian honor on August 12.

Among the recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Honor are NAACP heroes Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Former Congressman Jack Kemp, Reverend Joseph Lowery, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and legendary actor Sidney Poitier.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an honor that is bestowed on the most deserving individuals. The NAACP cannot think of a more worthy group to receive this prestigious honor. Senator Edward Kennedy, a constant advocate for social justice and healthcare for all, Congressman Jack Kemp, a man unafraid of opposing his political party and standing on his moral principles, Supreme Court Justice O’Connor, the first woman to shatter the Supreme Court’s glass ceiling, Archbishop Tutu, a constant voice of reason in times of turmoil and a formidable advocate for racial, civil and social justice, and Sidney Poitier, the nation’s first African American Academy award winner and an actor who broke down the color barriers in Hollywood are among the nominees that the NAACP is proud to call our friends, allies and mentors,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

“The NAACP commends President Obama for choosing these well-deserved individuals for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. These pioneers in their respective industries helped make this country and this world a better place for all,” concluded Jealous.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


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