Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Archewell Foundation partner to celebrate women who are human rights defenders

New York, NY, December 6, 2022Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) today held its annual Ripple of Hope Gala which honored exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to advance equity, justice, and human rights. The event brought together over 1,000 attendees at the New York Hilton Midtown to celebrate this year’s honorees, including Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Invenergy Michael Polsky, NBA Legend and Civil Rights Icon Bill Russell, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Siris Frank Baker, Chair of the Board and CEO of Bank of America Brian Moynihan, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

During the Gala, RFKHR and Archewell Foundation (AWF), a nonprofit organization founded by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced a new collaboration. Together, the organizations will launch a new category in RFKHR’s annual Speak Truth to Power video competition to give participating students the opportunity to create videos showcasing women who are human rights defenders.

Bringing together students, educators, and human rights defenders, this year’s Speak Truth to Power competition, which runs until April 2023, will include the first-ever Archewell Foundation Award for Gender Equity in Student Film. The Archewell Foundation Award will recognize students who have harnessed the power of visual storytelling to highlight a woman who has uplifted her community and, in doing so, changed the course of history for women everywhere. The new award will be presented along with the Grand Prize winner during a 2023 Tribeca Festival event in New York City, where the winning videos will premiere.

“From Ida B. Wells to Malala, women have long played a crucial role in advancing human rights,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Acknowledging and celebrating these pioneers – the women who continue to work towards a better, more just world – is key to safeguarding our rights in the future. Our hope is that this new award with The Archewell Foundation encourages students to reflect on the impact of women who are human rights defenders and empowers the next generation to continue in their footsteps.”

“We are honored to receive the RFK Ripple of Hope Award this year, and to partner with the Kennedy family in the creation of The Archewell Foundation Award for Gender Equity in Student Film. Our hope with this award is to inspire a new generation of leadership in the arts, where diverse up and coming talent have a platform to have their voices heard and their stories told. The values of RFK Foundation and The Archewell Foundation are aligned in our shared belief of courage over fear, and love over hate. Together we know that a ripple of hope can turn into a wave of change.” Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Created in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Festival, the Speak Truth to Power contest encourages middle school and high school students across the country to become engaged in key human rights issues through creative storytelling. Video submissions span three- to five-minutes and range from documentaries to narrative and experimental films.The contest is designed so that students from all backgrounds, particularly those from low-income communities, can participate without needing expensive equipment or prior video editing skills. Entries must be submitted by April 26, 2023.

For more information on RFK Human Rights and its Speak Truth to Power human rights education program, visit

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:

We are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues—championing change makers and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate students about human rights and social justice.

About The Archewell Foundation:
Archewell Foundation is an impact-driven non-profit created by Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The foundation’s core purpose is to uplift and unite communities — local and global, online and offline — one act of compassion at a time.

Media contacts:

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:

Amy Zelvin Reid, [email protected]
Emma Gillett, [email protected]

Archewell Foundation:

Miranda Barbot, [email protected]
Deesha Tank, [email protected]