Ford Motor Company, in partnership with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, will celebrate the favorable contributions of African American males at the 18th yearly Ford Freedom Award program.

This year’s style Men of Courage: Advancing the Narrative of African American Men will commemorate accomplishments of the past, present and future, while highlighting choose African American guys for their varied, complex and worthy stories. The program acknowledges the empowering effect of these guys on their households and neighborhoods, along with their servant leadership, professional quality and personal nerve.

The Ford Freedom Award event occurs May 17, 6-9 p.m., at Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (DSO Orchestra Hall) in Detroit. Tickets are $50 per person. A limited number of platinum VIP reception tickets that include champagne and a red carpeting experience are readily available for $150. To purchase tickets or for added occasion details, call the music center ticket office, 313.576.5111, or check out

Ford is happy to sign up with the Wright Museum in saluting the favorable contributions of African American guys, stated ZiadOjakli, group vice president, government and neighborhood relations, Ford Motor Company. Their leadership through family, company and philanthropy has actually been felt throughout American communities. They are true unrecognized heroes, and we are happy to honor such a varied and achieved group of men this year.

The Ford Freedom Award honoree is a distinguished African American who committed his or her life to enhancing the African American community and the world at big. This year’s recipient is the late Reginald F. Lewis, a company magnate, Wall Street legal representative and philanthropist renowned for his character, generosity and company acumen.

This year’s Ford Freedom Award scholar is Dave Bing, founder and chairman, Bing Youth Institute, an NBA Hall of Famer and the 62nd mayor of Detroit. The scholar acts as a living tradition, bring forth the perfects of the honoree and enhancing those achievements for a brand-new generation.

In addition, Ford will provide the inaugural Ford Courage Awards honoring three bold individuals in the locations of family, community and sports. The newly included People’s Choice Ford Courage Award will exist to Shaka Senghor, criminal justice reform supporter, TED Talks speaker and New York Times very popular author. Senghor was chosen by means of an online nomination video contest established in part through the Men of Courage job.

Other Ford Courage Award honorees anticipated to be on hand include Kerlin Blaise, previous NFL player and effective business owner, president and owner of Blaze Contracting; and Jonathan Butler, University of Missouri college student activist and hunger striker. Grammy-nominated artist Angie Stone, hip jump icon Doug E. Fresh, season 3 candidate, The Voice, singer-songwriter and dancer Avery Wilson and famed tap-dancers Syncopated Ladies will perform.

Usher Raymond IV, Grammy award-winning artist and activist, and Jerome Bettis, Detroit native, NFL Hall of Famer and football expert, will also both attend the occasion and participate as presenters.

The Ford Freedom Award provides the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History a distinct platform to pay tribute to some of America s greatest influencers, said Juanita Moore, president and CEO, The Wright Museum. Honoree Reginald Lewis, who was unquestionably affected by African American trendsetters that came prior to him, comprehended the essential significance of African American history in inspiring others to blaze their own tracks.

Ford Motor Company s assistance of the African American community dates back to the early 20th century when it was the largest employer of African Americans in the automobile industry. Now, Ford is building on that support with trademark initiatives that include Ford Freedom Unsung, Ford Blue Oval Scholars and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Challenge.

The Ford Freedom Award program is enabled by a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund, the charitable arm of Ford Motor Company. Profits from the Ford Freedom Award occasion will benefit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is observing its 51st anniversary.