Long Beach native, longtime social justice lobbyist Sister Simone Campbell receives Medal of Freedom

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Thursday, July 7, 2022
Biden begins honoring 17 people with the Medal of Freedom
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President Joe Biden on Thursday is awarding the presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people.

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday awarded 17 people with the Medal of Freedom, including a Southern California native.

Some of the high-profile award recipients included Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, actor Denzel Washington and local nun -- Sister Simone Campbell.

The honorees who received medals from Biden "have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities, and across the world, while blazing trails for generations to come," the White House said.

The honor is reserved for people who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values or security of the United States, world peace or other significant societal public or private endeavors, the White House said.

Campbell is a Long Beach native and is a long-time social justice lobbyist.

MORE: Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe, Denzel Washington among 17 awarded Medal of Freedom

She is a member of the Sisters of Social Service, an organization that strives to "help transform the lives of those living on the margins of our world."

She is credited for her role in gathering signatures from Catholic nuns in support of Obamacare.

She used to be the executive director of NETWORK, a lobby for Catholic social justice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.