Biden, Jackson receive Freedom Awards from National Civil Rights Museum
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE was honored alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson and philanthropist Pitt Hyde with Freedom Awards from the National Civil Rights Museum.

The 27th annual Freedom Awards ceremony took place in downtown Memphis on Wednesday, honoring individuals who have made a global impact.

In his remarks at the event, Biden told attendees that the country needs their “energy” and “leadership,” and that a “battle for the soul of America” is taking place.

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“In the face of the hateful rhetoric and divisive legislation we cannot remain silent,” the former vice president said.

Museum President Terri Freeman News 3 in Memphis, Tenn. that Biden was selected as an honoree for his work on human rights and LGBTQ issues.

She said that Jackson, a civil rights leader and member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle, was honored this year because the theme of the event was 1968 – the year King was assassinated.

Freeman noted that she sees “many similarities” between 1968 and 2018, given the current political climate.

“We want to continue to help people understand the work is not over,” she said.