NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville Civil Rights activist will be among seventeen recipients who will be presented with the nation’s highest honor in a ceremony held by President Joe Biden this Thursday. 

The White House announced the seventeen recipients of the prestigious honor on June 1. The recipients include Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast in history, Sandra Lindsay, a New York nurse who was the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and Diane Nash a civil rights pioneer who made significant strides in integrating Nashville. 

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Nash is a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee which organized some of the most important campaigns of the 20th century. As a student at Fisk University, she participated in the historic “sit-ins” that helped end racial segregation at eateries in Music City. 

The civil rights activist also worked closely with Martin Luther King, who described her as the “driving spirit in the nonviolent assault on segregation at lunch counters.” 

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In a release, the White House says the honorees “have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors” 

The awards will be presented at the White House on July 7.