The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University presents Barney Frank with their annual Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award, proceedings moderated by Peter Meade, from 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the C. Walsh Theatre, 55 Temple St., Boston. 

Former Congressman Barney Frank is a Ford Hall Forum favorite, having graced its stage seven times since 1979. Last year, he completed his illustrious 32-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, throughout which he was boldly outspoken at every opportunity. Frank consistently chose to be the voice of those who often have no voice: Combat Zone sex workers, the elderly, Japanese-Americans in WWII, and even animals. One of the most powerful statements he made on his defense of civil liberties was his opposition to “Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes,” proving that his support for the First Amendment supersedes any personal agenda. In light of how he has conducted such a vital, brave career, Ford Hall Forum presents Barney Frank with its 2013 First Amendment Award to commend his commitment to civic engagement, democracy, and expression.

For the past 32 years, the Ford Hall Forum's Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award has honored individuals or organizations that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to promoting and facilitating the thoughtful exercise of our right to freedom of expression. The first award recipient was Norman Lear back in 1981, and since then, the Forum has recognized such luminaries as Rosa Parks, Peter Seeger, Ted Turner, Gwen Ifill, to name just a few.

The Ford Hall Forum is the nation’s oldest free public lecture series. It promotes freedom of speech and fosters an informed and effective citizenry through events that illuminate the key issues facing our society.
The forum presents knowledgeable and thought-provoking speakers, including some of the most controversial opinion leaders of our times, in settings that facilitate frank and open debate.

Above: Former Congressman Barney Frank and Peter Meade, Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority