Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
|Type||Operating public charity
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)
|Method||Awards, Advocacy, Partnerships, Education|
|Mission||"Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is dedicated to realizing Robert F. Kennedy's vision of a more just and peaceful world."|
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (formerly the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, or RFK Center) is a human rights advocacy organization, a nonprofit charitable organization that works to realize Senator Robert F. Kennedy's dream of a peaceful and just world by advancing human rights. It works to support recipients of the RFK Human Rights Award, supports investigative journalists and authors through the RFK Book and Journalism Awards, and educates the public and empowers students to create change in the classroom. It is based in Washington, D.C.
After the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, his family and friends founded a living memorial. As that effort grew, more projects came to honor his memory. Originally known as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, today the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is dedicated to advancing human rights through litigation, advocacy, and education.
Human Rights Advocacy
Established by Kerry Kennedy in 1987, RFK Human Rights consists of three core programs: Partners for Human Rights, which works to create lasting change through litigation, advocacy, and training; Speak Truth To Power, a human rights education program; and RFK Compass, a sustainable investing initiative.
Human Rights Award
The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award was created by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in 1984 to honor individuals around the world who show courage and have made a significant contribution to human rights in their country.
In addition to receiving a financial award, laureates can partner with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights on projects to advance their human rights work, benefiting from the resources and technologies at the foundation's disposal. Some have achieved their goals, some are in exile from their home country. The majority continue to live in their home country and work with the support of the center to establish the human rights they are working for. Since 1984, awards have been given to 43 individuals & organizations, from 25 different countries. The 2009 award was presented by President Barack Obama. In 2009, the RFK Center began a partnership with the California International Law Center (CILC) at the University of California, Davis School of Law focusing on the crisis in Darfur.
- 2014 : Adilur Rahman Khan, Bangladesh
- 2013 : Ragia Omran, Egypt
- 2012 : Librada Paz, United States
- 2011 : Frank Mugisha, Uganda
- 2010 : Abel Barrera Hernández, Mexico
- 2009 : Magodonga Mahlangu & Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
- 2008 : Aminatou Haidar, Western Sahara
- 2007 : Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, Sudan
- 2006 : Sonia Pierre, Dominican Republic
- 2005 : Stephen Bradberry, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
- 2004 : Delphine Djiraibe, Chad
- 2003 : Coalition of Immokalee Workers, United States
- 2002 : Loune Viaud, Haiti
- 2001 : Darci Frigo, Brazil
- 2000 : Martin Macwan, India
- 1999 : Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis, Liberia
- 1998 : Berenice Celeyta, Gloria Florez and Jaime Prieto, Colombia
- 1997 : Sezgin Tanrikulu and Senal Sarihan, Turkey
- 1996 : Nguyen Dan Que, Vietnam and Anonymous, Sudan
- 1995 : Kailash Satyarthi, India, and Doan Viet Hoat, Vietnam
- 1994 : Wei Jingsheng and Ren Wanding, China
- 1993 : Bambang Widjojanto, Indonesia
- 1992 : Chakufwa Chihana, Malawi
- 1991 : Raji Sourani, Palestine and Avigdor Feldman, Israel
- 1990 : Amilcar Mendez Urizar, Guatemala
- 1989 : Fang Lizhi, China
- 1988 : Gibson Kamau Kuria Kenya
- 1987 : Kim Keun Tae and In Jae Keun, South Korea
- 1986 : Zbigniew Bujak and Adam Michnik, Poland
- 1985 : Allan Boesak, Beyers Naude and Winnie Mandela, South Africa
- 1984 : CoMadres, El Salvador
The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was founded in 1980, with the proceeds from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s best-selling biography, Robert Kennedy and His Times. Each year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights presents an award to the book which "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes - his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity." The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award has been recognized as one of the most prestigious honors an author can receive.
- 2014: The Great Dissent by Tom Healy
- 2013: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz
- 2012: The Justice Cascade by Kathryn Sikkink
- 2011: The Big Short by Michael Lewis
- 2010: Ordinary Injustice by Amy Bach
- 2009: The Dark Side, by Jane Mayer (author)
- 2008: Going Down Jericho Road, by Michael Honey
- 2007: The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley
- 2006: Mirror to America by John Hope Franklin
- 2005: Perilous Times by Jeffrey Stone; and We Are All the Same, by Jim Wooten
- 2004: Ultimate Punishment by Scott Turow
- 2003: At the Hands of Persons Unknown, by Philip Dray; and A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power
- 2002: American Patriots by Gail Buckley
- 2001: Without Sanctuary by James Allen; and Blood of the Liberals by George Packer
- 2000: Mandela by Anthony Sampson and No Shame in My Game, by Katherine Newman
- 1999: Walking with the Wind by John Lewis and Michael D'Orso
- 1998: Race, Crime and the Law by Randall Kennedy; and The Soldiers' Tale by Samuel Hynes
- 1997: Worse Than Slavery by David M. Oshinsky
- 1996: Circumstantial Evidence by Pete Earley; and The Politics of Rage by Dan T. Carter
- 1995: Speak Now Against the Day by John Egerton
- 1994: Taming the Storm by Jack Bass
- 1993: Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, by Vice President Al Gore
- 1992: Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Fay Greene
- 1991: The Long Haul by Myles Horton and Herbert and Judith Kohl; and The Burning Season, by Andrew Revkin
- 1990: Among Schoolchildren, by Tracy Kidder; and Big Sugar, by Alec Wilkinson
- 1989: A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan; and Rachel and Her Children by Jonathon Kozol
- 1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison; and Song in a Weary Throat by Pauli Murray
- 1987: Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, by David J. Garrow
- 1986: Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, by J. Anthony Lukas and Reaping the Whirlwind: The Civil Rights Movement in Tuskegee, by Robert Norrell
- 1984: Children of War by Roger Rosenblatt
- 1983: Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Stephen B. Oates
- 1982: The Child Savers by Peter S. Prescott
- 1981: Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom, by William Chafe
The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award was established in 1968 by a group of reporters covering Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign and "honors those who report on issues that reflect Robert F. Kennedy's concerns including human rights, social justice and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world." Entries include insights into the causes, conditions and remedies of injustice and critical analysis of relevant public policies, programs, attitudes and private endeavors.
Led by a committee of six independent journalists, the Awards are judged by more than fifty journalists each year. It has become the largest program of its kind and one of few in which the winners are determined solely by their peers. Previous winners include World News anchor Diane Sawyer.
Speak Truth To Power
Speak Truth To Power is the global human rights initiative founded by Kerry Kennedy and Nan Richardson, bringing people face-to-face with courageous human rights heroes. This multifaceted project presents inspiring stories of 51 women and men from over 40 countries who have stood up to oppression at great personal risk in the non-violent pursuit of human rights including demilitarization, children of war, environmental activism, and religious self-determination.
- rfkcenter.org, , accessed 2009-12-19
- "Robert F. Kennedy's Life & Vision". Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.