Oprah Winfrey has been named the recipient of a 2005 Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. The talk-show host will join the ranks of past honorees including Rosa Parks, Sidney Poitier, and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
The Memphis-based museum cited Winfrey's philanthropic and community service work. Said spokesperson Gwen Harmon. "Ms. Winfrey's dedication to providing educational and quality of life opportunities for young people and the less fortunate places her in the esteemed category of persons who truly make a difference."
At a ceremony to be held on Nov. 3, Winfrey will be honored alongside Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, and actress Ruby Dee.
"Ms. Winfrey, Mr. Rusesabagina and Ms. Dee and Mr. Davis are warriors in this fight to continue the battles fought by our great leaders," said Museum Board Chairman Dr. Benjamin Hooks, in a statement. "We are proud of the work they have done and continue to do.”
Previous recipients of the award include Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, U2's Bono, and Presidents Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, and Bill Clinton.
Opened in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the site of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.