Press Release: Wendell Berry, Paul Krugman, CIW comment on upcoming Four Freedoms Awards…

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Roosevelt Institute announces time, place for October
awards gala!


 The October 16th award ceremony in New York City is approaching, and this week the Roosevelt Institute issued a press release with details on the upcoming gala  and quotations from the various laureates — including novelist and environmental activist Wendell Berry and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman — on the significance of the prestigious award.  

Paul Krugman, who will receive the Freedom of Speech and Expression Medal “for challenging economic orthodoxy and advancing a more equitable vision of society,” had this to say about his selection:

“I’m enormously flattered by anything that associates me with FDR and the New Deal,” said Krugman. “FDR’s Four Freedoms were all about doing whatever we can to produce a better society – not a utopian dream, but a more decent, fairer, freer place where people can lead good lives. And that’s the project we’re still working on to this day.”

While Wendell Berry, who will receive the overall Freedom Medal “for his message of personal responsibility to one’s community and environment,” added:

“I am pleased, of course, both personally and for the sake of the causes I have tried to serve. I am especially moved by this award’s commemoration of President Franklin Roosevelt, whose help to my region and my people under the New Deal was intelligently given and urgently needed.” 

For the CIW’s part, Gerardo Reyes (shown below loading melons this past summer with the CIW crew in north Florida) found a powerful connection between the CIW’s organizing work in the farmworker community and the Freedom from Want medal that the CIW has been selected to receive:

gerardo_melons“When we started organizing 20 years ago in Immokalee, we would gather in a borrowed room at a local church and pass around these blue, pocket-sized copies of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which of course contains the Four Freedoms in its Preamble and was championed by the First Lady,” said Gerardo Reyes of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.  “Our work today advancing the human rights of workers in the agricultural industry is deeply rooted in that most inspirational of the Roosevelts’ many legacies, which is why there is no recognition that is more appropriate — or could make us more proud — than to receive the Freedom from Want Medal.”

The October ceremony in New York is open to the public, and is sure to be an exciting, and moving, event.  Here below is the time and place, including contact info for the Roosevelt Institute if you are interested in attending and would like to learn more.  See you in NYC!:

The free public ceremony will be held at St. James’ Episcopal Church at 865 Madison Avenue, to be followed by a private reception at the Asia Society. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m.

For more information on the Four Freedoms Awards or the 2013 laureates, please contact Tim Price at or 212-444-9130 x 219.