The Wright Museum

2015 Ford Freedom Award

Celebrating Tech Entrepreneurs (Technopreneurs): Builders of the Innovation Economy

Special Tribute Performance by Ledisi Presented by the GRAMMY™ Foundation

2015 Recipients:
Honoree Award (posthumous): Elijah McCoy, Innovator & Inventor
Scholar Award: Laura Weidman Powers, CODE2040
Legacy Award: Mitch Kapor & Freada Kapor Klein, Kapor Center for Social Impact

Special Celebrity Guests include:
Van Jones, CNN Contributor & Founder of #YesWeCode
Big Sean, Multi-platinum Selling Artist & Founder of Sean Anderson Foundation
Lyndsey Scott, Actress / Model / App Developer

2015 Ford Freedom Award

General Admission
Awards Ceremony & Concert
$40 | $35 museum members

VIP (limited quantity available)
Adds valet parking, champagne red carpet hosted by Lyndsey Scott, private reception, interactive technology experience, live DJ, hors d'oeuvres & more!

buytickets button1Ford Motor Company and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History present the 17th Annual Ford Freedom Award May 5, 2015, at the Max M. Fisher Music Center & Orchestra Hall. This year’s theme, Celebrating Technopreneurs: Builders of the Innovation Economy salutes Ford Freedom Honoree Elijah McCoy, the late engineer and inventor who successfully secured more than 60 patents for innovative products and devices. The 2015 Ford Freedom Award scholar is Laura Weidman Powers, founder of CODE2040, an organization that provides fellowship opportunities in Silicon Valley for African Americans and Latinos in engineering. This year a special Legacy Award will be given to Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, who will be jointly honored for their technological efforts creating social impact in underrepresented communities.

Other notables serving as award presenters include rapper Big Sean, Van Jones (Yes We Code), Victoria Secret Model and app developer Lyndsey Scott, and Flying Classroom founder Barrington Irving. The evening’s award program will include a special concert performance through the GRAMMY Foundation® by recording artist and GRAMMY nominee Ledisi. Proceeds benefit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.


Finally, in recognition of The Wright’s 50th anniversary, the names of five notable local honorees will be added to the Ring of Genealogy in the floor of the museum’s Ford Freedom Rotunda, and be recognized at the award program. These include former Secretary of State Richard Austin, the first African American Certified Public Accountant in Michigan, and first African American elected to statewide office; Robert Hayden, poet laureate of Senegal and America’s first black poet laureate; Erma Henderson, the first African American woman to serve on the Detroit City Council, and its president for 12 years; Charles Hill, founding pastor of Hartford Avenue Baptist Church and advocate for the autoworkers union and fair housing for African Americans in Detroit; and radio legend Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg, who helped set the guidelines and standards for Black radio in America, as well as being an inspirational on-air personality and station executive and owner.


Tickets are $40 each or $35 for Wright Museum members. A special $185 VIP ticket includes a celebrity red carpet experience, private reception, valet parking, refreshments & more. Purchase tickets through the link below, by phone at (313) 576-5111, or at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office.

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