On December 16, 2014, “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” (formerly “Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights”) honored Hillary Rodham Clinton, Robert De Niro, Tony Bennett and Donato Tramuto on the occasion of the annual “Ripple of Hope Awards”, in New York.

In her acceptance remarks, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State, made her first public statements on torture since the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report last week detailing the CIA’s widespread use of torture since 9/11. “The United States, Mrs. Clinton said, should not practice or condone torture anywhere in the world.”

Mrs. Clinton also applauded “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” “for continuing to challenge us” and she acknowledged both “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” founder, Ethel Kennedy, and its president, Kerry Kennedy, for their “inspirational” leadership on human rights.

The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award recognizes leaders in government, business and entertainment who are dedicated to social change.

“We were so fortunate to have such a tremendous group of honorees this year,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights”. “There is no better way to celebrate my father’s legacy than by celebrating people like Hillary Clinton, who has devoted her life to public service; Robert De Niro, who helped revitalize lower Manhattan after September 11th, and with whom we partner on our Speak Truth To Power student film contest; Tony Bennett, who marched in Selma fifty years ago and has used his celebrity to advance justice throughout his life; and Donato Tramuto, who works tirelessly on improving access to healthcare and with whom we partner on Health eVillages.”

In addition to acceptance speeches from Mrs. Clinton, Mr. De Niro and Mr. Tramuto, the audience was treated to a performance from Mr. Bennett, as well as remarks from New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who introduced Mr. De Niro by celebrating his role in reviving lower Manhattan after 9/11 by co-founding the Tribeca Film Institute.

The evening was moderated by Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), one of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s grandchildren. It also featured a performance of the words of human rights defenders from a group of prominent actors including Dennis Haysbert, Cheryl Hines, Catherine Keener, Tony Lo Bianco, Melanie Griffith, America Ferrara, Mandy Patinkin, and Trevor Donovan, and an impassioned speech from Abel Barrera, one of Mexico’s leading human rights defenders.

The event was attended by the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and member of the Leadership Council of the Foundation «Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights», Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinogiannis, who is associated with long-term friendship with the Kennedy family and partnered with Kerry Kennedy, for the implementation of the training program for the respect of human rights “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER” in Greek schools. This cooperation is in the effort of the “Marianna V. Vardinogiannis Foundation” to strengthen the Greek schools and this program will help to inform and sensitize the Greek students about human rights.