Wangari Maathai

*Three women will be awarded 2010 Freedom Awards from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn, the venue announced Tuesday: a civil rights activist, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a “desperate housewife.”


Actress Eva Longoria Parker will join fellow honorees Dorothy Cotton and Wangari Maathai in receiving awards at a ceremony to be held Oct. 6.

Eva Longoria with her "Heroes"

Longoria, who plays Gabrielle Solis on the ABC comedy, is being honored for founding Eva’s Heroes, a charity that helps developmentally disabled children.

Dorothy Cotton

Cotton was the education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1960 to 1968 and was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on April 4, 1968.

Maathai of Kenya founded the Green Belt Movement, which has helped plant more than 40 million trees at farms, schools and churches. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.