The RFK Center has honored the legacy of Robert Kennedy by making an impact in marginalized communities throughout the United States and around the world. Below are just a few of our success stories:
PROMOTING MINORITY RIGHTS IN UGANDA
In 2011, the RFK Partners proudly launched their partnership with RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Frank Mugisha, a leading voice for the rights of the LGBTI community in Uganda, where sexual minorities are persecuted, and a proposed law would impose the death penalty on homosexuals in certain cases.
PROVIDING WATER TO HAITI
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the RFK Partners and 2002 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Loune Viaud pressured the U.S. government and financial institutions to release Inter-Development Bank loans which brought clean water to the town of Saint-Marc. Today, the RFK Center is supporting the establishment of the RFK Learning Lab for children orphaned by the earthquake.
PROTECTING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN MEXICO
In 2010, the RFK Partners joined with 2010 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Abel Barrera Hernández to protect indigenous communities in rural Mexico, where violence and drug trafficking are rampant and justice is rare. The RFK Partners have rallied congress to uphold human rights provisions of the Mérida Initiative, a bilateral agreement to combat drug trafficking.
ADVOCATING FOR WESTERN SAHARA
2008 RFK Laureate Aminatou Haidar was blocked from entering her home country of Western Sahara by Moroccan authorities in 2009. As she embarked upon a 60-day hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of the Sahrawi, the RFK Partners successfully worked with Moroccan authorities and rallied diplomatic corps, neighboring governments, the US State Department, the press, and international advocates to bring global attention to the situation, stressing the need for a human rights monitoring mechanism in Western Sahara and to protect her rights and secure her safe return home.
REBUILDING NEW ORLEANS
When local government proposed turning part of the hurricane-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans into a golf course, the RFK Partners for Human Rights and 2005 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate Stephen Bradberry mobilized a campaign that halted the plans. In 2006, when the U.S. government sought to stop further funding for Hurricane Katrina recovery, the RFK Partners helped bring the Gulf to Washington, filling the halls of congress with 400 residents advocating to save their homes and livelihoods. Within weeks, the president announced additional recovery funds.
WINNING A LIVING WAGE FOR FIELD WORKERS
With support from the RFK Partners, 2003 RFK Human Rights Award Laureates Lucas Benitez and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers won a penny-per-pound wage increase for Florida’s tomato pickers, substantially improving the lives of thousands of field workers.