The premiere of the 2020 tribute to the laureates will start at 1 pm with a special documentary/film screening. The Meet-up will be broadcast live from the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg at 2 pm, during which the laureates will have conversations with young admirers. Writer and journalist Joris Luyendijk will host the Meet-up and speakers from Freedom Lectures Natascha van Weezel, Simone Weimans, Massih Hutak and Joris Linssen will reflect on the work of the laureates. They will also enter into discussion with young people about their vision of freedom. People watching can ask questions via the chat room.

Chairman of the Roosevelt Foundation Han Polman, who is also the King’s Commissioner of the Province of Zeeland: “I am pleased that in the current circumstances we can still present the awards in an appropriate manner. In a way that does justice to the laureates. After all, Roosevelt’s words remain unaffected today. Certainly in this day and age we are especially aware of the importance of, in particular, the freedom from fear and want. And for good reason the International Four Freedoms Award goes to the United Nations. Especially in the fight against the corona pandemic – where there is a strong tendency to choose only for their own people – we can only survive if countries join forces and support each other.”

Accessible to everyone online

The Meet-up will take place for the first time and is the result of an intensive collaboration between the Roosevelt Foundation and Stichting Vrijheidscolleges. Both organizations aim to inspire young and old people to think about the value of the Four Freedoms and the philosophy of the Roosevelts. In addition to the Meet-up, the Stichting Vrijheidscolleges also organizes programs and lectures about freedom at liberation festivals, schools and at various other locations in the Netherlands.

Four Freedoms Awards 2021 Awards

  • The International Four Freedoms Award goes to the United Nations. Secretary General António Guterres will receive the award on behalf of the organization.
  • The Freedom of Speech Award goes to Filipino journalist Maria Ressa.
  • The Freedom of Religion Award goes to Religions for Peace International. Azza Karam receives the award on behalf of the organization.
  • The Freedom from Want Award goes to the Dutch journalist and television presenter Sander de Kramer.
  • The Freedom from Fear award goes to the Italian Mayor, Leoluca Orlando.

About the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards

The Four Freedoms Medals are presented each year to people and organizations whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on 6 January 1941. In this speech he said that if democracy is to survive and flourish, people everywhere in the world are entitled to four human rights: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Important words that have not lost any of their value and meaning even after almost 80 years.

Earlier Freedoms Medals were awarded to some of the most distinguished world citizens of our time, including Harry S. Truman, H.R.H. Princess Juliana of The Netherlands, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, J. William Fulbright, Arthur Miller, Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and dr. Angela Merkel.