NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights on Thursday presented its Ripple of Hope Awards to Stacey Abrams, political leader, entrepreneur, and author; Amanda Gorman, poet; José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group; Deven Parekh, managing director of Insight Partners; and Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon.
The laureates were welcomed by a virtual keynote address by Vice President Kamala Harris. “Congratulations to the 2021 Ripple of Hope laureates Amanda Gorman, Stacey Abrams, Jose Feliciano, Deven Perekh, and Hans Vestberg. Whether your talents are in the spoken word, or in social responsibility – in building coalitions, or in leading corporations, you have inspired our nation with your vision of who we are, and what we can be, much like Robert F. Kennedy himself,” Harris said. “Robert Kennedy has been a source of inspiration for me throughout my career. He understood that to work for justice means to stand for equal justice.”
“For as long as Americans have had the right to vote, we’ve had enemies of democracy working to restrict, suppress, and violate the will of the people, particularly those from poor and underrepresented communities,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “These underlying problems within our political system do not happen in a vacuum. We need the decisive, moral leadership of people like our 2021 Ripple of Hope Award laureates to uplift the voices of the marginalized and dismantle the oppressive structural causes of injustice and inequality across all arenas.”
“Robert F. Kennedy dedicated his life to the protection of our freedoms,” said Stacey Abrams. “He fought for equality for all people, regardless of color or background, and he lifted up their causes. I am honored to receive this award that reflects his vision for social change. Access to the right to vote is essential to achieving racial and social justice, and pursuit of fairness, equity, and opportunity must be a constant mission.”
“It is a great honor to be recognized by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, an organization that has been working tirelessly for decades to overcome inequality and promote human rights,” said José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group. “Today, more than ever, there is a new urgency to continue RFK’s legacy and address the numerous challenges our society is facing, including persistent economic and social inequities. As Bobby Kennedy himself said, ‘A world of constantly accelerating economic progress … would, in short, be a world that we would be proud to have built.’ It is my strong belief that through investment in education and entrepreneurship, as well as improving access to capital, we can level the playing field.”
“Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy of courage and his spirit of humanitarianism have inspired generations of Americans, including myself,” said Deven Parekh, managing director of Insight Partners. “His commitment to economic equality and social progress has endured the test of time. I am truly humbled and honored to accept the Ripple of Hope Award alongside such accomplished leaders.”
“It’s truly humbling to be included alongside this remarkable group of human rights champions,” said Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon. “There has never been a more critical moment to demonstrate the power of purpose. It is our responsibility as one of the largest companies in the world to address the economic, environmental, and societal issues that are most pressing and to move the world forward through the power of action, inclusion, and technology.”
The Ripple of Hope Award is inspired by Robert F. Kennedy’s most famous speech, the 1966 Day of Affirmation address he gave in South Africa at the height of apartheid: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Previous winners of the Ripple of Hope Award include Barack Obama, Tim Cook, Colin Kaepernick, Dolores Huerta, Desmond Tutu, Hillary Clinton, John Lewis, Bono, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Nancy Pelosi, Robert F. Smith, George Clooney, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.
Learn more about RFK Human Rights and its annual Ripple of Hope Award at RFKHumanRights.org/Awards.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
SOURCE Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights