Give Mr. Fred D. Gray the Presidential Medal of Freedom!

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Give Mr. Fred D. Gray the Presidential Medal of Freedom!

This petition made change with 22,249 supporters!

When Fred D. Gray opened his law practice in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954, he had one mission: to destroy everything segregated he could find.

Despite the risks as a Black man in the Jim Crow South, he set out to do just that.

Over a career as an iconic civil rights lawyer who, at 91, still practices today, Mr. Gray has been an unsung hero who has contributed to some of the most consequential cases of the civil rights movement. 

Mr. Gray represented Claudette Colvin, a 15-year old African American high school student who refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. 

He represented Rosa Parks, who was arrested because she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, igniting the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 

He was the first civil rights attorney for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who referred to him as the “brilliant young Negro” who later became “chief counsel for the protest movement.” 

And one day after Bloody Sunday in 1965, he filed a lawsuit on behalf of John Lewis and others that would allow marchers to peacefully cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and march on to Montgomery, AL in pursuit of voting rights – a historic event that led to the Voting Rights Act.

A crowning achievement in Mr. Gray’s long career was his successful legal battle for restitution for the victims of the abhorrent government-sponsored Tuskegee medical experiments that in the mid-20th century allowed dozens of African American men to go untreated for syphilis. Mr. Gray founded and now serves as President of the Tuskegee History Center, established to honor the victims of the atrocity.

Mr. Gray has received numerous awards and honors throughout his lifetime. But perhaps no award more quintessentially befits him than the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sign this petition to urge President Biden to honor Attorney Fred D. Gray in his sunset years with this prestigious honor.

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This petition made change with 22,249 supporters!

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