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Juneteenth activist Opal Lee to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom at White House

Opal Lee, the 97-year-old “grandmother of Juneteenth,” will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Friday, officers mentioned.

President Joe Biden named Lee as one of 19 recipients of the award, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor, in accordance to a White House information launch.

“These nineteen Americans built teams, coalitions, movements, organizations, and businesses that shaped America for the better,” the discharge mentioned. “They are the pinnacle of leadership in their fields. They consistently demonstrated over their careers the power of community, hard work, and service.”

Lee, who moved to Fort Worth when she was 10, symbolically walked 1,400 miles from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C., in 2016 to increase consciousness of the significance of Juneteenth. She attended the signing ceremony at the White House in 2021 when Biden made Juneteenth a federal vacation.

Lee was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022. On March 21, work started on building a new home for Lee on the precise spot within the Historic Southside neighborhood the place a racist white mob trashed her household’s house greater than 80 years in the past.

Lee mentioned when she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that she believes her mission to serve is just not completed but.

“You got to help people if you can,” she mentioned. “And I can. I still can.”


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