International Rescue Committee (IRC)

2011 Freedom Award: Honoring the Brokaw Family

Freedom Award Dinner 2011

  • Torbertha Torbor addresses the audience at the IRC's 2011 Freedom Award Dinner
  • A view of the room at the IRCs annual Freedom Award Dinner
  • <p>David Letterman tosses off a few one-liners while paying tribute to his friend Tom Brokaw and the rest of the Brokaw family, who were honored with the Freedom Award at the dinner.</p>

On November 9, 2011 the International Rescue Committee presented the IRC Freedom Award to Tom Brokaw and his family for their humanitarian efforts. The award dinner, held at New York's Waldof-Astoria, featured special guests John Legend, David Letterman and General Colin Powell. David Gregory of "Meet the Press" served as Master of Ceremonies. 

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The International Rescue Committee is pleased to present the IRC Freedom Award to Tom Brokaw and Meredith Auld Brokaw and their daughters, Dr. Jennifer Jean Brokaw, Andrea Brokaw Simon, and Sarah Auld Brokaw.  Their respective individual efforts have been a sustained force for good in global relief and development, international conservation, educational broadcasting and outreach, housing construction for people left homeless by natural disaster, and programs for women survivors of war and displacement.  

In particular, the Brokaw family’s personal and public association with the IRC has expanded our resources and strengthened immeasurably our capacity to serve refugees and advance the cause of freedom.  We salute Tom, Meredith, Jennifer, Andrea, and Sarah and hail their dedication to service.  

See more photos of the 2011 Freedom Award dinner and special guests John Legend, David Letterman and General Colin Powell.
Tom Brokaw speaks at the IRC's 2011 Freedom Award Dinner in New York
Tom Brokaw speaks at the 2011 Freedom Award Dinner (Photo: Getty Images for IRC)
"Part of the ethos of growing up in Yankton and throughout South Dakota was that you’re always measured by whether you were giving back, not by what you’d accomplished for yourself. It was about what you were doing for others. I think there was an extension of that once we began to raise our own family. We don’t think of it as charity work. We never call it that. What we call it is an obligation."
- Tom Brokaw, NBC News special correspondent and IRC overseer


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