Yak’s Corner

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Michigan K.I.D.S. is the Detroit Newspapers in Education (DNIE) non-profit for the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News that provides digital e-Editions of the Free Press and The News, related online and print teaching resources, and other services to schools across Michigan.

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Ford Freedom Award

The Ford Freedom Award is given to individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the African-American community and the world at large through their chosen fields. The theme of this year’s Ford Freedom program is “Men of Courage. Advancing the Narrative of African-American men.”

Throughout American history, African-American men have made significant and inspiring contributions to the growth of our nation. They have been builders and leaders and thinkers and motivators. They have been artists and athletes and coaches and mentors. They have been fathers and husbands and uncles and sons.

The Ford Motor Company Fund this year launched a national program to call attention to the wide range of achievements and contributions of African-American men, to strengthen communities and create positive social change. The program seeks to use storytelling to showcase how African-American men have inspired their communities, and to use those stories to change people’s perceptions.

DNIE is partnering with the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History to bring the “Men of Courage” educational program to Michigan schools. Students will explore the qualities and characteristics that enabled African-American Men of Courage to change the narrative of their lives, improve their communities and change perceptions.

To make sure the program is relevant to classrooms during Black History Month, the first 8-page version of the student supplement will be available online on February 17. The supplement will be enhanced and an updated version with four additional pages will be posted online on February 29. On Wednesday, March 16, the full 16-page version will be posted online and delivered to schools (in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties) that have placed orders by March 8. The program will include a 12-page online teacher guide posted on February 17, and a classroom poster mailed in March.

We’re proud of our 16-year partnership with the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Charles H. Wright Museum, bringing Michigan classrooms Ford Freedom Award educational programming each year. We’re pleased to provide you with past programs in the archive below.

Click here for essay contest information


2016 Ford Freedom Award Program


Ford Freedom Award Program Archive






2010 - Reaching High, Giving Back

Click here to download the 2010 Ford Freedom Poster






2005 - The Heritage of Jazz: African American Influence in American Music

Click here to download the 2005 Ford Freedom Supplement
Click here to download the 2005 Ford Freedom Supplement Teacher Guide


2004 - Pioneers in the Classroom: African American Achievers in the Education

Click here to download the 2004 Ford Freedom Supplement
Click here to download the 2004 Ford Freedom Supplement Teacher Guide