John Lewis, Tim Cook, Roger Altman, Marianna Vardinoyannis Win 2015 Ripple of Hope Award

(New York | October 19, 2015) Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is proud to announce Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Apple CEO Tim Cook, Evercore co-founder Roger Altman, and UNESCO Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis will receive the annual Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award.

“There is no better way to celebrate my father’s legacy than to honor these great leaders like Congressman Lewis, Tim Cook, Marianna Vardinoyannis, and Roger Altman,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “John Lewis has devoted his entire to life to fighting for social justice; first standing against segregationists like Bull Connor and George Wallace, and then bringing that commitment to human rights to Congress. As the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook shows how positive social change can come from the corporate boardroom.

“Throughout her career Marianna Vardinoyannis has put the needs of children first. With child poverty still haunting so many families around the world, her commitment has never been more important,” stated Kennedy. “In 1968, Roger Altman began his work in public service when he joined my father’s campaign. Roger has continued advancing those values serving two Presidents and as a leading investment banker.”

Since 1986, Congressman Lewis has represented Georgia’s Fifth District and has been a strong voice for social justice and equality in the House of Representatives. As an activist and Chairperson of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was a key figured in the Civil Rights Movement and a leader in the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the Selma to Montgomery March.

Tim Cook was named the CEO of Apple in August 2011 and has made addressing issues such as sustainability and climate change a priority. He has increased Apple’s charitable donations and been a strong voice for equality, including speaking out against Indiana’s attempts to pass anti-LGBT laws.

As a global activist and philanthropist, Marianna Vardinoyannis is a tireless advocate for children’s and family rights. She focuses her work on issues including health, education, social welfare, and combating child abuse and exploitation. Vardinoyannis has worked on these issues in her native Greece and internationally as a UNESCO Ambassador.

Roger Altman began his public service career with his involvement in Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. He went on to serve in the Carter and Clinton Administrations before founding independent investment bank Evercore. In addition to his work in public serve and finance, Altman commits his resources to improving the quality of public education.

The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award recognizes leaders in government, business, and entertainment who are dedicated to social change. This year’s Ripple of Hope Gala will take place at the New York Hilton on December 8 and will feature a performance of the words of human rights defenders from a group of prominent actors. The performers will be announced soon.