The 51st annual RFK Human Rights Ripple of Hope ceremony will be held on December 12, 2019 in New York City to honor laureates for humanitarian advocacy around the globe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – NEW YORK, NY (Aug 13, 2019) – Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today announced its 2019 Ripple of Hope laureates: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, J. K. Rowling, writer of the renowned Harry Potter series and founder of the children’s charity Lumos; Wendy Abrams, environmental activist and founder of Cool Globes, Inc; and Glen Tullman, founder and executive chairman of Livongo Health. Laureates were selected for their lifelong commitment to human rights and their exceptional work toward a more just and peaceful world.
Robert F. Kennedy said, “Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send 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.”
“We are proud to honor these extraordinary laureates who have sent forth countless ripples of hope to millions of people inspired by their example,” said Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy.
Kennedy will present the awards to the laureates during the annual Ripple of Hope Gala in New York on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
“More than fifty years ago, Robert Kennedy issued a rousing call to action, reminding the citizens of the world that ‘it is from numberless diverse acts of courage…that human history is thus shaped,’” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The Ripple of Hope Award stands as a beautiful testament to the power that each of us has to shape the tides of history, and it is my hope that my receiving this award will inspire others to help build the world of decency and dignity of which Robert Kennedy dreamed. It is a great personal and official honor to receive the Ripple of Hope Award, and to be associated with past distinguished recipients who have advanced freedom and justice with the same spirit of compassion, conscience and moral courage that guided Robert Kennedy.”
The annual Ripple of Hope Award honors outstanding leaders who are changing the world for the better, recognizing leaders from government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who are dedicated to advancing positive social change.
"I am honored and humbled to accept the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award on behalf of all people living with chronic conditions,” said Livongo Founder and Executive Chairman Glen Tullman. “We have made great progress in advocacy, research, and creating solutions that empower people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives, but we are not yet finished. With 147 million people living with chronic conditions in the United States alone, we have more work to do to ensure we eradicate one of the largest societal epidemics today. Along with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, we believe health is a human right and delivering in a manner that is cost effective and efficient furthers that objective."
The 2019 Ripple of Hope Gala celebrates a remarkable year of achievement in advancing the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy during our challenging modern times. Honoring Robert Kennedy’s legacy, the organization focuses on human rights education, advocacy and litigation, engaging the business community in support of social good, and the mobilization of young community leaders in championing human rights. “I am so grateful for all the important work that the organization accomplishes each year,” said honoree Wendy Abrams.
“I’m delighted and honoured to be receiving this Award in such distinguished company and in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy’s dedication to social change,” said J.K. Rowling.
Past Ripple of Hope laureates include Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bono, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Clooney, Robert F. Smith, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis, and Tim Cook.
About the 2019 Ripple of Hope Award Laureates
Nancy Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; she made history in 2007 when she was the first woman elected to serve in that role. Now in her third term as Speaker, Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position as second in line to the presidency—the first person to do so in more than 60 years. As Speaker, Pelosi is working to lower the cost of health care, increase workers’ pay, and clean up corruption. For more than three decades, Pelosi has used her position to effect positive change, helping a record number of women get elected to national office, speaking truth to power, and remaining steadfast in her commitment to democratic values and the rights we cherish so deeply: freedom of expression, assembly, and religion; respect for the rule of law; and freedom from political persecution.
J.K. Rowling is best known as the author of the seven Harry Potter books, which have sold more than 500 million copies in more than 80 languages, and were made into eight enduringly popular films. Rowling has continued the stories in a stage play collaboration, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and in the Fantastic Beasts film series. She also writes the Strike crime novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In 2005, she founded Lumos, an international nonprofit NGO named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books. With a mission to have children worldwide out of orphanages and institutions and into loving family care by 2050, Lumos tackles the causes of family separation such as trafficking, poverty, and discrimination and speaks up on behalf of the eight million children trapped in institutions to transform their care, so every child can thrive in families and communities.
Wendy Abrams is an environmentalist, social justice activist, and philanthropist working for sustainable development and climate change awareness. She is the founder of Cool Globes, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. Cool Globes originated as a project stemming from the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006. Designed to utilize the venue of public art and education, the inaugural exhibit, Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, opened in Chicago in 2007 and has since traveled to three continents. In 2015, Cool Globes launched a campus activist initiative, KNOW TOMORROW, to amplify the voices of youth speaking out on climate change.
Glen Tullman is the executive chairman of Livongo Health, the consumer health pioneer committed to empowering people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives. He is dedicated to curing diabetes and other chronic conditions—and to keeping people healthy until these cures are found. He focuses on broadening access to global health care through technology and innovation. A visionary leader and entrepreneur, he previously ran two public companies that changed the way health care is delivered. Most recently, Tullman served as CEO of Allscripts, the leading provider of electronic health records, practice management, and electronic prescribing systems. He is the author of On Our Terms: Empowering the New Health Consumer, in which he proposes new solutions to address the chronic-condition epidemic facing our country.
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The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award
The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award celebrates leaders of the business, public service, entertainment, and activist communities who have demonstrated a commitment to social change. The honorees, including past recipients Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bono, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Clooney, Robert F. Smith, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis, and Tim Cook, reflect Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, and basic human rights, and his belief that each of us can make a difference.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Our mission is to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a just and peaceful world. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues, pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure lasting change, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students on human rights and social justice.