Former President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy have been tapped as 2018 “Ripple of Hope” laureates by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization.
The honor is in tribute to their “exceptional work toward a more just and peaceful world,” the group said.
“My father believed, ‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,'” said Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy.
“On the 50th anniversary of his historic campaign for the White House, we honor laureates who have sent forth countless ripples of hope to millions of people inspired by their example.”
Also honored were Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav and Humana CEO Bruce Broussard.
Ethel Kennedy, the group’s founder and widow of RFK, will award the laureates at the annual Ripple of Hope Gala at the New York Hilton Midtown on Dec. 12.
Obama said in a statement: “Bobby Kennedy was one of my heroes. I first got into public service because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, believing that my own salvation was bound up with the salvation of others.
“That’s something he expressed far better than I ever could when he talked about the power that comes from acting on our ideals, those ripples of hope that can ‘sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’
“That’s what I’m determined to help inspire and cultivate over the rest of my career – the idea that anybody can be one of the millions of acts of conscience and voices raised against injustice, the idea that anybody can be one of the ‘million different centers of energy and daring’ who, like Bobby Kennedy, have always changed the world for the better.”
Murphy said: “For a half-century, the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy has been a model for public service based on the simple premise that our highest calling is to leave is a more understanding and inclusive world for future generations,”
“This is exactly the New Jersey I am working to create – a state that is strong and fair, which welcomes and embraces diversity, and ensures greater educational and economic opportunities for all. To have these efforts recognized, and linked to the legacy of Senator Kennedy, one of my personal heroes, is a tremendous honor.”
Past Ripple of Hope laureates include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Bono, George Clooney, Robert Smith, Harry Belafonte, Howard Schultz, Joe Biden, Congressman John Lewis, Tim Cook, Tony Bennett, and Robert De Niro.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of RFK’s campaign for the White House.
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