Book and Journalism Awards
Now accepting submissions for the 2023 awards!

The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was founded in 1980 with the proceeds from Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s bestselling biography, Robert Kennedy and His Times. Each year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights presents an award to the book that, as Schlesinger said, "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."

Launched in 1969 by the reporters who covered Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign, the prestigious RFK Journalism Awards honor a free and fair press and celebrate media professionals whose work explores issues of human rights, social justice, and the power of individual action.


This year’s contest establishes a separate category for work on Criminal Justice. This category will honor exemplary reporting on the American justice system and its effects that extend beyond prison walls, affecting communities, housing, employment, and education. The focus of winning entries might reflect issues such as bail reform, mass incarceration, and racial and economic disparities in the criminal justice system.

Our book club is now open to the public! View past sessions and learn more about upcoming events.

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View past Book and Journalism Awards ceremonies

2022 Ceremony
2021 Ceremony
2020 Ceremony