Later this month, President Barack Obama will be awarding 21 individuals the Presidential Medal of Freedom (MOF).
During the final MOF ceremony of Obama’s second term as the U.S. president, two of the entertainment world’s most prominent black women will be receiving this special honor. The MOF is the highest civilian badge of merit a person can be awarded. American presidents give this honor to people who have exercised exemplary citizenship.
This year, legendary actress Cicely Tyson and illustrious songstress Diana Ross will be two of the 21 recipients who Obama will award the MOF. The president released a statement explaining this year’s MOF ceremony and also shared the significance of the prestigious award. A portion of the president’s statement reads as follows:
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor — it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.” (Official White House report)
Both Tyson and Ross have committed themselves to a lifetime of giving back to their community in addition to being megastars. Their works of charity and goodwill are well-documented. Tyson, for an example, has a school of performing arts that was erected in her name.
Her tireless efforts of giving back to aspiring theater students have been endorsed by a great number of influential people, including Oprah Winfrey. Ross is also a known humanitarian who has dedicated her life to helping young people live their dreams.
She is the founder of the Diana Ross Charity Foundation and has also worked honorably alongside Sir Elton John in the fight against AIDS. Congratulations to these two phenomenal black women for receiving their well-deserved presidential honor.