Barack Obama Receives RFK Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award in NYC

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy presents former President Barack Obama with the foundation’s Ripple of Hope Award at a ceremony, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in New York. (Jason DeCrow/Associated Press)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to the Washington Post, Former President Barack Obama was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award during the foundation’s gala in midtown Manhattan last evening.

“I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for a while now. Even ran a couple of campaigns on it. Thank you for officially validating my hope credentials,” Obama said during his acceptance speech.

Kerry Kennedy, RFK’s daughter and the organization’s president, presented Obama with the award, which celebrates leaders “who have demonstrated a commitment to social change.” Past recipients include Bono, George Clooney, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Robert De Niro.

“If we summon our best selves, we can inspire others to do the same. It’s easy to succumb to cynicism, the notion that hope is a fool’s game,” Obama said.

“When our leaders are content on making up whatever facts they want, a lot of people have begun to doubt the notion of common ground,” Obama said. “Bobby Kennedy’s life reminds us to reject such cynicism.”

Also honored with Ripple of Hope Awards this year were New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav and Humana CEO Bruce Broussard. Speakers last night included actors Keegan-Michael Key, Alfre Woodard, Alec Baldwin, and journalist Tom Brokaw.

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