2017 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Winner Announced


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Max Burns, Communications Director
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(May 8, 2017 | New York) Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today announced the winner of its 37th Annual Book Award.

Judges selected Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, which takes a difficult look at five families living in poverty and facing the challenges of housing insecurity and predatory landlords. The panel also honored Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Special Recognition for My Own Words, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy Williams.

Book Awards Chair Michael Beschloss said, “Matthew Desmond’s Evicted takes an unsparing look at issues that Robert Kennedy cared deeply about – poverty and the inability of many poor people to have the security of home that most Americans enjoy. Desmond brings to painful life the challenges which many poore families face, and reveals those who profit from their struggles.”

“Justice Ginsburg’s book reflects the author’s consistent voice for equality and justice under the law throughout her career. Her elegant defense of the freedoms on which our country was built is an essential reminder to all of us – especially in these times,” said Beschloss.

Desmond and Ginsburg join the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award winners announced on Friday, May 5, as exemplary work that sheds light on systemic injustice and raises awareness about issues relevant to our national discourse.

The Book Awards will be presented along with the 49th Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, by Mrs. Robert Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy with Chair Margaret Engel on May 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Newseum. The event will be emceed by Book Chair Michael Beschloss with remarks by Kerry Kennedy and Bill Moyers.

The Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards honor authors whose writing focuses on social justice issues of concern to Robert Kennedy. Over 70 works were nominated for honors in 2017.

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Our team includes leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice.

About the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award honors authors whose writing, in illuminating past or present injustice, acts as a beacon towards a more just society. Representing achievement in research, imagination, and moral insight, the books chosen for this award have included genres from history and investigative journalism to memoir and fiction. Founded by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in 1980, and supported by the proceeds from his bestselling biography Robert Kennedy and His Times, the award has been recognized as one of the most prestigious honors an author can receive.