Roosevelt Institute to Present 2023 Four Freedoms Awards

Ceremony honors those who fight for the preservation of democracy

May 18, 2023
Ariela Weinberger
(212) 444-9130

New York, NY—The Roosevelt Institute is pleased to announce its 2023 Four Freedoms Awards recipients. The Four Freedoms Awards are presented in alternating years by the Roosevelt Institute in the US and Roosevelt Stichting in the Netherlands, FDR’s ancestral home. This year, the ceremony (which is free and open to the public) will take place on September 23, 2023, in Hyde Park, NY, home of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

Modeled after FDR’s historic 1941 speech to Congress, the Four Freedoms Awards honor Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s legacies with one overarching Freedom Medal and four awards to those who exemplify core freedoms that uphold our democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

This year’s award recipients:

Freedom Medal: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, speaker emerita of the US House, will be honored with the overarching Freedom Medal for her lifetime of service to our nation. As the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, she has inspired countless women and girls across the nation, and her legislative contributions have shaped the political landscape and left a lasting impact.

Freedom of Speech and Expression: Tracie Hall, executive director, American Library Association, will be honored for defending libraries, advocating for literacy, and working to preserve and expand equal access to information.

Freedom of Worship: Dr. Walter Earl Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. professor emeritus of ethical leadership, Boston University and dean’s professor of spirituality, ethics, and leadership, Emory University, Candler School of Theology, will be honored for carrying on the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Howard Thurman—from helping students navigate the ethical questions of today to being a thought leader for Black churches.

Freedom from Want: Ady Barkan, creator of the Fed Up campaign and founder & co-executive director of Be A Hero, will be honored for his unapologetic work fighting for freedom from economic want and for a more just health-care system in the United States.

Freedom from Fear: The Honorable Bennie Thompson, US House representative, will be honored for his leadership skills and courage as chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

“The Four Freedoms, and those who champion them, are more important now than ever. Today’s chaotic global environment calls for a regrounding in human values so important to my grandparents,” said Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin and Eleanor’s granddaughter and board chair of the Roosevelt Institute. “We could not be more thrilled to honor those who fight to strengthen our democratic process.”

“At a time when democracy is under extreme duress, at home and around the globe, these recipients are a remarkable reminder of how great our country can be and of the progress we’re capable of making when we unite. Our laureates know firsthand not only what today’s political moment requires but also what’s necessary to forge a better world—one built by many for the good of all,” said Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute.

Past recipients of the Four Freedoms Awards have included international luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama; organizers and visionaries like Ai-jen Poo, Deepak Bhargava, and Bishop William J. Barber II; Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

You can learn more about the Four Freedoms Awards here.


About the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is America’s first presidential library—and the only one used by a sitting president. Conceived and built under President Roosevelt’s direction and opened to the public in 1941, the Library is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Members and donors form a vital base of support for many of the Library’s key initiatives and help keep our doors open to visitors and students from around the world.

About the Roosevelt Institute

The Roosevelt Institute is a think tank, a student network, and the nonprofit partner to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum that, together, are learning from the past and working to redefine the future of the American economy. Focusing on corporate and public power, labor and wages, and the economics of race and gender inequality, the Roosevelt Institute unifies experts, invests in young leaders, and advances progressive policies that bring the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor into the 21st century.