We’re counting on you to drive forward our efforts to expose injustice and create a better tomorrow.
This Giving Tuesday, join us in creating change.
Every day, our team of lawyers, educators, and thought leaders works to hold governments accountable, support front-line activists and change-makers, and teach students, investors, and employers to advocate for and protect human rights in their communities, industries, and workplaces. Thanks to the generosity of individuals like you, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is making this a more just and peaceful world.
Join us. Stand with our team as we protect fundamental human rights and promote social justice—at home and around the world.
Will you stand with the next generation of human rights defenders?
As dehumanizing speech is normalized, misinformation is spread, and educators are under attack, the need for human rights education has become increasingly clear. Our Speak Truth to Power (STTP) team shows teachers how to foster rights-respecting learning environments that support students’ dignity and agency, encouraging them to identify as human rights defenders. STTP partners with teachers and schools to provide comprehensive teacher training and interactive, evidence-based educational materials that integrate social-emotional learning and give students access to a network of human rights defenders. This cultivates a unique whole-school approach that embraces a culture of respect for human rights.
This year we have launched a new human rights-centered school with the Sustainable Business Finance Academy, encouraged students to use film to become champions of change in their communities through our STTP Video Contest, and introduced a speaker series to connect high school students with human rights defenders from all over the world. And we’re not slowing down: Next year, our team plans to certify more schools to adopt a whole-school approach to human rights education and host the first international human rights education conference.
The generosity of our supporters makes all of this possible. This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking you to stand with us, our teachers, and our students—every gift, no matter what size, helps us create a world where human rights education is woven into the fabric of all educators’ pedagogy and young people are empowered to become human rights defenders.
Oppression isn’t an accident. Change won’t be, either.
The protection of civic space, including the right to dissent, is essential to upholding all other basic rights and freedoms, yet governments around the world are curtailing people’s rights to freedom of assembly, association, and expression, as well as their right to criticize government without fear of reprisal. In addition, in almost every country, ingrained marginalization of women and trans people has led to violence: abuse, rape, and murder. Too often these crimes are not even investigated, perpetuating the horrific cycle.
Around the globe, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights collaborates with local partners to protect civic space and to combat discrimination and social exclusion by holding States accountable for their actions and working tirelessly to set new international legal precedents to advance human rights. Here’s what we have accomplished this year:
Xiomara Castro, president of Honduras, recognized state responsibility for the murder of Vicky Hernandez, a trans woman killed during the June 2009 coup; the subsequent investigation was characterized by negligence, discrimination, and a culture of impunity.
We secured the release of Egyptian researcher Ahmed Samir Santawy, who had been arbitrarily detained by the Egyptian government on unfounded charges of “spreading false news.” Following our petition, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that the government had violated international human rights law. On July 30, 2022, Santawy was finally released from prison after the president issued a pardon.
After years of work with our partners from CERJ in Guatemala, we will be fighting for truth, justice, and reparations in a historic case that will result in long-term impact. This fall, the Inter-American Commission referred the case of four human rights defenders disappeared by the Guatemalan army during the country’s internal armed conflict to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. We now move forward with the litigation of this case in the pursuit of justice for these brave defenders and their families.
Next year, our team will continue to push for structural change through strategic litigation across regions of Africa and Latin America in partnership with local civil society organizations. We will convene key stakeholders from regional human rights mechanisms to prompt more effective collaboration and strengthen their ability to protect human rights. We’ll also continue to support journalists, Indigenous leaders, and defenders of human rights and the environment, strengthening their capacity to protect their environment from threats posed by institutions seeking to profit off their land.
The generosity of our supporters makes all of this possible. This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking you to stand with us, and with the bravest human rights defenders in the world. Every gift, no matter the size, helps us create a world where governments are held accountable, civic space is protected, and women and girls are free from gender-based violence.
Many young people feel change is inaccessible. We’re putting it back in reach.
Today’s eligible voting population is the most diverse in U.S. history, but decision-makers don’t always reflect this reality. While the passion to create change is real, systemic exclusion and lack of opportunity create a ballot of candidates unresponsive to the needs of marginalized constituents, leading younger generations to feel powerless.
Enter John Lewis Young Leaders. We recently relaunched our longtime program to help young people drive change through advocacy and grassroots organizing in honor of the late congressman and civil rights icon. To dismantle the barriers that keep people from marginalized communities out of positions of power, John Lewis Young Leaders teaches leadership development, issue advocacy, civic engagement, and the principle of community organizing to advance human rights. Students in the program learn from a team of experts how to pursue justice in their communities and mobilize support for pressing issues. This summer, 50 campus leaders and ambassadors joined us for the first John Lewis Young Leaders Retreat, where they learned about housing equity, gender justice, cultural organizing, and taking social justice issues from grassroots to global.
Our students are gaining the skills necessary to excel as leaders and represent the country’s diverse constituency. With your help, we can continue this urgent work. We will expand our network of John Lewis Young Leaders chapters, continue to amplify student-led campaigns in support of democratic participation, and uplift the many Black, Brown, and queer voices of our Young Leaders network. Take a stand with us, and give today!
The U.S. immigration system is fundamentally flawed. We’re pushing for change.
Mass incarceration is now an integral feature of the U.S. immigration system. On average, over 25,000 immigrants are in detention on any given day, held in a national network of federal facilities, private prisons, and converted county and local jails. Detained immigrants are subject to the same punitive conditions as convicted criminals. What’s more, the federal government has shifted the bulk of its detention capacity to rural areas across the country to isolate immigrants from help. Without intervention, the government will continue to violate the human rights of immigrants with impunity.
At Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, we work with frontline advocates to provide access to justice for the asylum seekers subjected to the inhumane ICE detention system, and to hold the government accountable. This year, along with our partners, we saw Cameroon designated for Temporary Protected Status, a hard-won victory that protected tens of thousands of Cameroonian asylum seekers from deportation. Our team sued the Department of Homeland Security to seek accountability for abuse of Black asylum seekers and testified before the United Nations Committee to End All Forms of Racial Discrimination regarding the systemic mistreatment of Black migrants at the border and beyond.
And we’re not slowing down: Next year, we’ll fight more court battles to uncover documentation of government policies and practices that target marginalized people.
All of this is made possible by the generosity of our supporters. This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking you to stand with us—every gift, no matter the size, helps us create a world that holds the U.S. government accountable for its treatment of immigrants, protects the right to asylum, and gives access to justice for those who need it most.
Deploying investment resources toward a more fair and equitable society.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is celebrating a successful year of encouraging members of the business community to become agents of change, and to use their financial and social influence to fight for human rights and racial and economic justice.
Our RFK Compass Investors program kept investors focused on deploying ESG as a powerful, profitable investment strategy. We wrote articles about the issue, built on the 2021 joint report put out by the ESG Working Group, Thomson Reuters Foundation, UN PRI, and others, and made sure these discussions were at the center of our flagship investor conference this summer, which drew over 250 investors who together control $7 trillion of assets. Our team also continued a multiyear partnership with One Fair Wage centered on the rights and dignity of workers, by working toward guaranteeing a livable wage for the people who make up the backbone of our economy. We used a legislative approach in key states and collaborated with institutional investors to advance this agenda via shareholder advocacy and corporate leadership.
Our team also pushed for a deeper, more meaningful conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the financial markets. In the fall, we joined forces with a new partner, Lenox Park Solutions, a leader in DEI data analytics for the investment industry, for a project that will leverage the firm’s data aggregation technology to survey the DEI efforts of more than 400 institutional investors and asset managers in our Compass Investors network.
In keeping with RFK Human Rights’ focus on racial justice, the Compass Investors team expanded its work with the Investor Circle toward Decarceration network, inspiring investors to turn to community-based investment solutions rather than the incarceration models of our justice system. This led to offline discussions with the U.S. Treasury Department during which our team called out the inappropriate use of vital funds to construct new prisons, prompting the department to proclaim that practice to be an “ineligible” allocation of federal dollars. The pressure they applied to investors and banks also helped quash a $725 million deal to construct new prisons in Alabama.
Our Workplace Dignity program offers a first-of-its-kind website and related consulting services that give organizations and their leaders strategies and tools they can use to promote workplace dignity and foster community. We have also backed dignity-advancing legislation, such as California's FAST Act, which supports the rights of fast-food workers, and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Washington, D.C.
Our team helps businesses promote human rights, mobilizes investors to tackle inequality, and drives diversity and equity in boardrooms, across workforces, and in investment portfolios. We advance workplace dignity with strategies and tools that allow all workers to thrive—no matter the work they do or where they do it. But we need your help to continue this urgent work. This Giving Tuesday, take a stand with us, and donate today!