The 2013 Four Freedoms Awards
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
St. James' Episcopal Church
New York, NY
The 2013 Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards were presented on October 16 in a public ceremony at St. James’ Episcopal Church, near the Roosevelt family’s historic residence in Manhattan. Click here for an archive of press coverage for this year's awards.
Since 1963, the Four Freedoms Medals have been awarded in alternating years by the Roosevelt Institute in the U.S. and by Roosevelt Stichting in the Netherlands. This year marked the U.S. ceremony’s return to New York City after many years in Hyde Park, NY.
The medals are awarded to those who exemplify FDR’s vision of democracy as outlined in his famous January 6, 1941 address. Past recipients have included Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, Senator Ted Kennedy, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Studs Terkel, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Elie Wiesel, as well as international honorees Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Asma Jahangir, and Carlos Fuentes.
The 2013 laureates include:
Freedom Medal: Wendell Berry
Whether Wendell Berry is writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish. His works include the Port William series, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture, and Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food. He has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Freedom of Speech: Paul Krugman
Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. Prior to his appointment at Princeton, Krugman served on the faculty at MIT, taught at Yale and Stanford, and served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under Ronald Reagan.
Freedom from Fear: Ameena Matthews
Ameena Matthews’s work as an “interrupter” for Cure Violence was documented in the acclaimed documentary The Interrupters. In this role, she aggressively mediates conflicts, arbitrating between individuals and even physically stepping into the middle of them in order to prevent their escalation to physical violence. Cure Violence has been extremely successful in reducing violent altercations in some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, with Matthews serving as an influential face of the organization nationally and internationally.
Freedom from Want: Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a farm worker organization that is spearheading the national movement for Fair Food. With its Fair Food Program, launched in 2010 in over 90 percent of Florida's $600 million tomato industry, the CIW has created a sustainable blueprint for worker-driven corporate social responsibility, winning fairer wages; work with dignity; and freedom from forced labor, sexual harassment, and violence in the workplace for nearly 100,000 workers.
Freedom of worship: Sister Simone Campbell
Sister Simone Campbell has served as the Executive Director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney, and poet. She wrote the “nuns letter” supporting health care reform and got 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters to sign. She is perhaps best known for the Nuns on the Bus tour of nine states she organized in 2012 to oppose the Ryan Budget, which received an avalanche of national media attention.