Press Releases

Feb 19, 2019

‘Queer Eye’ Co-Hosts, ‘me too.’ Movement Founder, ‘Selma’ Director and More at 2019 Free Expression Awards

PBS NewsHour Anchor Judy Woodruff to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the Newseum April 4

WASHINGTON — Today, the Freedom Forum Institute and Newseum announced the award recipients of the fourth annual Free Expression Awards. The Free Expression Awards convene thought leaders, policymakers and philanthropists to recognize individuals for their courageous acts of, and contributions to, free and fearless expression. These influential supporters of the First Amendment work tirelessly to enhance free speech, freedom of the press, religious freedom and freedom in the arts and entertainment. The 2019 honorees are:

  • Founder of the ‘me too.’ movement Tarana Burke;
  • Academy Award nominee and Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Award winner Ava DuVernay;
  • CBS News foreign correspondents Elizabeth Palmer, Debora Patta and Holly Williams;
  • Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, who together co-host the popular Netflix television series, “Queer Eye;”
  • Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour.”

The award recipients will be honored at a special awards dinner and reception at the Newseum on Thursday, April 4, 2019. The event will be hosted by Katie Couric, award-winning journalist, Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) co-founder and New York Times best-selling author, along with members of the event’s honorary host and steering committees.

A limited number of individual tickets are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For information on sponsorship levels and benefits, please visit our website or contact Elizabeth Dickson at [email protected] or 202/292-6371.

Last year’s Free Expression Awards honored Arthur Sulzberger Jr., The New York Times Company chairman and former publisher of The New York Times; 1968 Olympic medalists and human rights activists Dr. John Carlos and Dr. Tommie C. Smith; and 13 journalists from four news publications who uncovered sexual misconduct in the workplace.

About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.


The mission of the Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives. Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum has seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters. The Newseum also reaches millions of students through its robust offering of on-site classes and workshops. The Freedom Forum — the creator and primary funder of the Newseum — recently announced the sale of the building in which the Newseum is located to Johns Hopkins University. The Newseum will remain open to the public through 2019.

The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Press Contacts

Sonya Gavankar
[email protected]