*Stevie Wonder, Alvin Ailey and late civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner are among his year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Obama will present the nation’s highest civilian honor to a total of 19 artists, activists, public servants and others during a White House ceremony on Monday.
Others being recognized include actress Meryl Streep, Ethel Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, and Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat and the longest-serving member of Congress. Dingell is retiring at the end of the year.
The list also includes composer Stephen Sondheim, NBC journalist Tom Brokaw and author Isabel Allende.
Additionally, Native American activist Suzan Harjo, actress Marlo Thomas, economist Robert Solow, golfer Charles Sifford, former Rep. Abner Mikva of Illinois and physicist Mildred Dresselhaus will be recognized.
Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner are among three of the six posthumous medals to be awarded. The civil rights workers were slain in 1964 as they participated in a historic voter registration drive in Mississippi.
Other posthumous awards will go to choreographer Alvin Ailey and Reps. Patsy Mink of Hawaii and Edward Roybal of California, founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is reserved for individuals who have made “meritorious contributions” to U.S. security, world peace or cultural endeavors.