The message: Perseverance
Speakers during the event at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church included Freedom Award honorees Rev. Bernice A. King, daughter of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; Morris Dees, the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center; and Sal Masekela, who is accepting the award for his father, Hugh Masekela, a South African jazz musician and human rights activist.
The awards have been presented since 1991 and recognize individuals who have made a global impact in the fight for human and civil rights. Past recipients include former South African president Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Audience members asked honorees questions, among them: How do you get someone to listen to your voice?