RFK Center - Defending Human Rights In This World
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A Training Institute Initiative

This event occurred on 5 - 6 November 2012

U.S. Elections 2012

The Role of the U.S. in the Promotion of Human Rights in
Historical and Comparative Perspectives

Official Hashtag for the event: #RFKElections
Live Streaming of the electoral night will be starting here on rfkennedyeurope.org
on November 6th, 9 PM Florence time.

"Peace and love and compassion for those who are struggling, That’s what the United States should stand for, and that’s what I intend to do if I am elected President of the United States." Robert Kennedy in his 1968 campaign

Forty-four years have gone by since Senator Robert Francis Kennedy chose to run for the U.S. presidency. In 1968 the world was undergoing what remains one of the most important cultural, social, and economic revolutions in recent history. Robert Kennedy stood on a platform of racial equality and economic justice, non-aggression in foreign policy, decentralization of power, and social improvement. A crucial element of his campaign was engagement with young people, who he identified as being the future of a reinvigorated American society based on partnership and social equality.

The campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 similarly gave hope to many once again. His election coincided with the beginning of the present financial and economic crisis. Four years later, the world has changed profoundly and the 2012 elections are taking place in a very different context.

To mark the U.S. Presidential Elections of 6 November 2012, the RFK Training Institute of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Europe, in collaboration with the Consulate of the United States of America in Florence, is organizing an event. The main goals are to enhance the understanding of the U.S. role in promoting human rights; to assess the different scenarios if Mitt Romney or if Barack Obama are elected; to compare their electoral programs to that of Robert Kennedy; and to compare the roles of the U.S. and of Europe (the EU and its Member States) in the promotion of human rights.

The event is made up of two parts. The first part is a seminar that will take place on 5 and 6 November in which approximately 20 - 25 Italian students (including the Libera Università degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli LUISS, Rome; LUISS School of Government, Rome; Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan; Università degli Studi di Firenze – Facoltà di Scienze Politiche) and approximately 20 - 25 US students enrolled in U.S. Universities in Italy (including the Syracuse University, Florence; the Harding University, Scandicci; the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center; the Gonzaga University, Florence) will participate. Professors from some of these universities teach courses on international, political, economic, social, and legal aspects of the event topic.

The second part of the event is a more extended and fluid session in which experts, students, representatives of the Republican and Democratic Parties, journalists, and others, on location and via the internet, discuss the elections and, once they become available, the projections and the results. This session will take place the evening of 6 and the early morning of 7 November.

The event will take place in the Auditorium of Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze in via Folco Portinari in Florence.

The event is organized with the financial support of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. The event has the patronage of the U.S. Consolate in Florence; the Tuscan Region; and the City of Florence. The event is organized in cooperation with the Libera Università degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli LUISS, Rome; the LUISS School of Government, Rome; the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan; the Università degli Studi di Firenze - Facoltà di Scienze Politiche; and the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI). The organizers thank also I Meridiani; Immaginae; and Powered by Streamago.

For more information, please contact: Valentina Pagliai - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

With the Patronage of:

In Collaboration with:

Special thanks to:


“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, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Robert F. Kennedy
Capetown, June 6th 1966