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President Biden awarded the Medal of Freedom to Denzel Washington, actor, director, and producer who has served as the national spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for more than 25 years. He is one of 17 honorees who will be receiving the medal Thursday, July 7. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor and is bestowed on outstanding individuals who have demonstrated exceptional character and have made great contributions toward world peace or significant societal, public, or private endeavors.

The White House has said the 17 recipients “have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities — and across the world — while blazing trails for generations to come.” – Washington Post

Washington has been involved with Boys & Girls Club since he became a member of the Mount Vernon, New York chapter at five years old. He credits the time he spent at the Club and the mentoring he received from the staff as key to his positive development and success. 

As the national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Denzel often remarks on the safe spaces, mentorship, and programming Clubs provide. Based on the intellectual, physical, and social needs of youth, enhance character and self-esteem, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas programs are educational and fun and contribute to youth fulfilling their potential.

If you would like to read more about Denzel Washington and the 16 honorees to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom visit the Washington Post here.