Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy was awarded the Medal for Social Activism at the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia on 4 February 2017. Every year this Medal is given at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates recognizing the positive impact on social activism generated in communities throughout the world.
Human rights activist Kerry Kennedy receives the Medal for Social Activism for her impactful efforts on communities throughout the world as a result of her life-long devotion to the pursuit of equal justice, the promotion of basic rights and the presentation of the rule of law. She has worked on a range of issues, including children’s rights, child labour, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, impunity, and the environment. She has led hundreds of human rights delegations and has worked closely with Nobel Peace Laureates.
Kennedy was instrumental in the development of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Speak Truth to Power curriculum, an educational tool designed to foster human rights awareness and advocacy in children through structured lesson plans. Over the course of its existence, Speak Truth to Power has reached millions of children in schools around the world. Its topics include understanding global human rights heroes, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and hot-topic issues like refugee migration and women’s issues.
Commenting on the news about receiving the Medal, Ms. Kennedy underscored: “In order to achieve human rights for all, to bring peace to all corners of our planet, we need to increase the human rights literacy rate. Human rights education is the vehicle through which we will achieve this. Human rights education is how every man, woman and child can come to know what human rights are, to understand them in the context of their own lives and the world around them and finally, to take action – organizing their communities to assert the rights they have under international law. I am deeply grateful to President Santos and the Nobel laureates for presenting this award, and I accept it on behalf of all the students and teachers yearning for justice, yearning for peace, and willing to not only pray for change, but work actively to realize a better world. The laureates are not saints frozen in stained glass, but living breathing human beings who walk among us and inspire all to create a just and peaceful world. We are deeply grateful for their work and humbled to accept this award.”