1. PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS
ROBERT F. KENNEDY PLEDGED THAT “THOSE WITH THE COURAGE TO ENTER MORAL CONFLICT WILL FIND THEMSELVES WITH COMPANIONS IN EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE.”
Our team of lawyers and issue experts collaborate with partners around the world to create lasting legal change. Through legal advocacy, we have freed political prisoners, defended the rule of law in autocratic regimes and amplified the voices of human rights defenders in the United States and abroad.
We present the annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, which recognizes a courageous individual whose activism reflects Robert Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference. The award’s recipients enter multi-year partnerships with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, anchoring our advocacy work and strengthening the activists’ ability to make gentler the life of the world.
2. ENGAGING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
“THE POWER TO ACT IS THE POWER TO COMMAND RESOURCES”
In 1964, Robert F. Kennedy observed that “The power to act is the power to command resources.”
His words have never been more relevant. Today, nearly half of the world’s hundred largest economies are actually public companies, giving them a special role in the creation of a more just and peaceful world.
Recognizing this reality, the RFKennedy Compass program works with institutional investors and other key allocators to discuss new approaches to investing that consider human rights, the environment, and good governance, enlisting the private sector’s influence in the cause of justice.
Events like the collapse of the American mortgage industry and issues like child labor have created greater interest in sustainable investing among shareholders. In the wake of countless cases of corporate negligence that destroyed shareholder value and could have been averted through sustainable investing practices, major shareholders are beginning to realize that creating change is not at odds with creating value. This is the basic premise of RFKennedy Compass: that sustainable investing isn’t just good for the world. It’s also good for business.
3. INSPIRE YOUNG LEADERS
ROBERT F. KENNEDY CALLED YOUNG PEOPLE “THE WORLD’S HOPE.” WE FOSTER THAT OPTIMISM BY CONVENING YOUNG LEADERS ENGAGED IN MAKING THEIR WORLD A MORE JUST AND FAIR PLACE. THESE INNOVATIVE, INFLUENTIAL AND PHILANTHROPIC YOUNG ADULTS HOST EVENTS AND SHARE IDEAS THAT RESULT IN NEW APPROACHES TO HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Young Leaders is a network of young professionals from a wide range of fields—including finance, art, education, technology, law, marketing—who share a commitment to effecting change in creative and meaningful ways. RFKYL has developed an app to improve health care in the United States gulf coast, advocated for farmworkers’ rights in New York, and hosted discussions with some of the world’s leading human rights defenders.
4. TEACHING HUMAN RIGHTS
Based on Kerry Kennedy’s book Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World, our human rights education program, Speak Truth to Power (STTP), combines powerful storytelling and interactive learning to create a global citizenry of students and teachers who are ready to end and prevent human rights abuses and violations.
At the heart of STTP are the stories of human rights defenders from around the world. We bring those stories to life through our lesson plans, trainings, photo exhibit, play, and contests, providing young people with a unique entry point into understanding human rights issues while encouraging them to become empathetic and emboldened champions of justice in their everyday lives.
To date, our work has reached an estimated 5.7 million students, teachers, community leaders through our partnership with Discovery Education we will be able to inspire more than 30 million students.