International Paper and the National Civil Rights Museum each year provides admission and transportation for middle and high school students to the Student Forum held at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Wednesday, October 17, 2018. This program allows students and educators of the Memphis community the opportunity to hear from leaders in the struggle for civil rights.

The Student Forum is the opening event for the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award celebration. It is also the event during which the Museum and event sponsor, Interational Paper, present the prestigious Keeper of the Dream Award.

Keeper of the Dream Award

International Paper and the National Civil Rights Museum are accepting applications for this year’s Keeper of the Dream award, honoring 6th -12th graders throughout the Greater Memphis Area who have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring equal rights and opportunities for others.  

The Keeper of the Dream Award, now in its 16th year, parallels the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award honoring men and women who are recognized for their work in the struggle for civil and human rights. If you know someone deserving of the Keeper of the Dream award, please ask him or her to apply before September 15, 2018. See the application form, requirements and other details by clicking below.


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School Group Attendance

The museum will provide one bus for each school with up to 23 students with 2 chaperones (a total of 25) in attendance. Transportation provided for Shelby County Schools only. However, metro area schools may reserve groups with transportation provided for their students.

To confirm your reservation for the Student Forum event, a mandatory Chaperone Meeting must be attended. Complete the registration form below and choose one of the following chaperone meeting dates: 

  • Wednesday, August 29, at 5:30pm
  • Wednesday, September 5, at 5:30pm
  • Wednesday, September 12, at 5:30pm OR
  • Tuesday, September 18, at 5:30pm.  

Whether you’ve attended the Student Forum before or not, attendance is required to understand logistical and program changes for this year’s event. Failure to attend one of the scheduled chaperone meetings will result in forfeiture of your reservation to the next school group on the waiting list.

Student Forum group Reservation deadline is September 21.


Freedom Award Student Forum Reservation

Complete form by September 21, 2018, for students in grades 5 through 12 to the Student Forum. Please DO NOT submit this form for students outside the grade levels listed. Each school is eligible to send 23 students plus 2 chaperones (25 total). If your group has any special needs, please include those details with your reservation request. For more information email


2017 Student Forum Photo Gallery

  • The Museum
  • Students show school spirit for activism.
  • Madison Star & Mallory Iyana, Co-Creators of Angels and Tomboys product line, co-host the Student Forum with WMC Action News anchor Jerrica Phillips.
  • Cordova High School Choir fills the sanctuary with angelic harmony.
  • 2017 Keeper of the Dream (KOD) Award winners, Ileana Real, Trinity Walker, Jalisa Wooten and Haddy Betapudi show off the hardware.
  • 2017 Freedom Award honorees, Sal Masekela represent his father Hugh Masekela, Rev. Bernice A. King and Morris Dees, pose for pre-Forum pic.
  • Allyson Nichole Smith, 2017 Drop the Mic Poetry Slam Winner (14-17 age category) recites her winning poem.
  • Student addresses honorees with burning questions and advice for their generation.
  • Rev. Bernice King responding with words to inspire wisdom and peace in young people
  • Over 2500 students and educators listen intently to the honoree panel discussion.
  • KOD winners pose backstage with award ceremony host, Michaela Angela Davis.
  • Cordova High School choir couldn