Robert F. Kennedy Center For Justice And Human Rights

Rating: 4.75 stars   16 reviews

Issues: International

Location: 1300 19th Street NW, Suite 750 Washington DC 20036 USA

Mission: The Robert F. Kennedy Center continues his mission through domestic and international programs that help the disadvantaged and oppressed and that recognize, train and support our next generation of leaders.
Results: Educating and Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders: In 2010, the RFK Center partnered with the New York State United Teachers to launch an online human rights curriculum (Speak Truth To Power/STTP) with 31 teacher-developed lesson plans. “…in every child, is the potential for greatness…” – Robert F. Kennedy, 1965 Connecting Great Achievement with Great Potential: In late 2011, the RFK Center partnered with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union to create 16 new human rights lessons based on Nobel Peace Prize winners. In April 2012, the Nobel Peace Prize winners fanned out across the city, visiting 17 schools in Chicago that included STTP as part of their curriculum. Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders: In 2012 and 2013, the RFK Center will work with the Washington College of Law to create a training seminar program for law school students to teach high school students about human rights. High school students will learn empathy, tolerance, and discover valuable role models. Law students will gain experience and training to better translate rights-based concepts to a diverse audience. LGBTI Rights in Uganda: The RFK Center held meetings with members of Congress regarding LGBTI rights in Uganda. Congressman Barney Frank helped arrange an official meeting between a member of the Ugandan Parliament and one of Uganda’s only openly gay activists: Mr. Frank Mugisha. In 2011, the RFK Center partnered with Uganda activists to convince key Kenyan legal organizations to end their silence and speak out against the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Success in keeping funds available for the Gulf Coast: The RFK Center helped hundreds of New Orleans residents travel to the District of Columbia in 2006 to protest announcements that federal disaster recovery funding would soon end. Attendees met with government officials; the federal recovery funding was reinstated. Zimbabwe: Despite the Zimbabwe Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld their right to assembly, police have continued to arrest and harass members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). The RFK Center will assist WOZA in filing a petition to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). Recently, the RFK Center secured a $10,000 U.S. State Department grant to provide security and a new office for WOZA. In addition, the RFK Center will help digitize WOZA’s extensive handwritten archives. Advocacy: The RFK Center continues to urge the UN to include human rights monitoring in its Western Sahara mandate. In 2010, staff members helped gather an international coalition to file a written submission to Morocco’s Universal Periodic Review. The RFK Center brought Aminatou Haidar to the U.S. where she met with members of the United Nations and the U.S. government in preparation for the vote on the mandate’s renewal. In June 2012, the RFK Center presented its submission to the Council in Geneva. In August 2012, Kerry Kennedy led a delegation of human rights experts to Western Sahara and Morocco. The media attention given to this mission resulted in several attempts to tamper with our website, traced back to Morocco, and a threat of kidnapping Ms. Kennedy (not substantiated). Global advocacy efforts: Through the RFK Center’s persistent advocacy work, the U.S. State Department has called on the Dominican Republic government to end these discriminatory policies. The U.S. State Department has consulted with the RFK Center, created a federal working group, and empowered the UNHRC to open a field office in the country. Organizing: Since 2007, the RFK Center has led a coalition of U.S.-based human rights groups working on nationality and migration rights issues in the Dominican Republic and arranged several congressional briefings, monitoring trips, and conferences. Most recently, the October 2011 Dominican Republic advocacy week enabled the U.S. government to demonstrate its public support to the cause and encourage the Dominican government to open a productive dialogue with the RFK Center’s coalition. Cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú: The RFK Center works to pressure the Mexico government to transfer cases of military abuse of citizens into civilian court. In 2011, two cases such cases were successfully transferred to the civilian Attorney General’s office. In both of these cases women were raped and tortured by soldiers; the cases had languished in military jurisdiction for almost a decade. RFK Center secured a precedent-setting decision by Mexico’s supreme court giving victims of military violence the right to try their cases in civilian court. Press coverage: The RFK Center uses its resources to bring substantial press coverage to Tlachinollan’s emblematic cases and arrange regular delegations to the area led by Kerry Kennedy. Protection: The RFK Center pressures the state government to ensure basic protections for Tlachinollan’s work. We helped restore an office that had been closed since 2009 following to the murders of two indigenous defenders and attracted representatives from numerous embassies and NGOs to the opening. We organized the state government to provide police protection for the office during business hours. Release from arrest: The RFK Center intervened when Mixtec human rights defender Maximino Garcia Catarino was arbitrarily imprisoned and subjected to false charges in 2012. In response to our campaign, Maximino was granted unconditional release by a Guerrero tribunal after two months of detention.
Programs: The RFK Center has a successful history of collaborations with NGOs, universities, legal clinics, and the media on behalf of oppressed communities. It has six programs, whose goals are: o To create genuine partnerships with courageous human right activists around the world and help them achieve their goals over a six-year period (Partners for Human Rights) o To create change by introducing students an innovative curriculum, based on courageous human rights defenders, now used by over 500,000 students worldwide (Speak Truth To Power) o To work with fiduciaries and investors to factor human rights, environmental degradation, and governance (like corruption) concerns into their calculation of risk (Compass) o To support investigative journalists and authors who bring light to injustice (RFK Book and Journalism Awards) o To develop a presence in Europe for advocacy, STTP, and human rights training (RFK Europe) o To help develop effective policy for adjudicated youth transitioning to freedom (Juvenile Justice Program)
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 13-2522784
202-463-7575
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I absolutely love the compassion and commitment this organization brings to the movement of protecting human rights around the globe. Through the simple act of educating youth with the STTP project, they affect the generation that has the power to effect social change. They arm and empower people by bringing awareness to the atrocities that otherwise go unheard. And they tirelessly fight to recognize those who have devoted their lives to making an impact, those who would do so with or without recognition, but who are deserving of such. Inspirational is an understatement.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been working in human rights advocacy for more than a decade, and I would rate my collaboration with the staff and laureates at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to be one of the most professional and effective work that I have done to advance human rights and protect vulnerable communities across the globe. Beginning in 2007, I worked with the RFK Center on a project to protect and advance the right to education of Afrodescendants and indigenous peoples in the Americas. Aside from its talented and creative staff, the RFK Center's strength is its collaborative work and constant support of its laureates to further local human rights advocates' goals and projects. During the course of our work, we were able to advocate effectively on the ground at the grassroots level, as well as take our findings and recommendations to the highest levels, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. I would highly recommend this organization in the future toward guaranteeing that voices are heard and action is taken to protect the rights of vulnerable individuals and communities globally.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am very happy to be writing a review of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. i currently work as a volunteer basis in the NY office as Coordinator of Special Projects. In that role I interact on a daily basis with all aspects of the organization and much of the staff. I am unequivocally impressed by the passion, dedication and professionalism of the members of the RFK Center team. The Center's role is to advance human rights and alleviate suffering by encouraging individual action. They do this in a multitude of ways and involve a large number of projects and events designed to raise money, of course, but also awareness of the human rights violations around the world and the Center's goal of alleviating those abuses. I work on a daily basis with the development team and the administrative staff and various others working in the programming parts of the group. I have seen hard work and teamwork based on specific goals lead to successes in terms of and educating students and adults alike in human rights violations currently underway, and changing the lives of groups of people who need help. I love working at RFK because of that very reason...seeing what individual actions and the power of Robert F. Kennedy's legacy in action.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

My first Experience with the RFK Center is when I worked on a RFK curriculum project through my State teachers union--New York State United Teachers. Of all the big ideas that can be taught in social studies, one could argue that teaching students to value each other as human beings is perhaps the most important. Whether it is in appreciating diversity, understanding our shared humanity, or seeing that civilization is fragile, this concept is at the heart of who we are as a society and as educators. The RFK center understands this and provides outstanding human rights resources and opportunities for educators though the Speak Truth To Power program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

My first RFK Center volunteer experience was soon after the Tiananmen Square crack down. The Center helped organize one of the largest demonstrations outside the Chinese Embassy. Juggling many interests and concerns, the Center helped pulled together not only a large demo but one that was on message and clear regarding human rights. From that point on, I have always looked for ways to partner and/or volunteer with the center. One opportunity that came my way was to help develop the Center's human rights education program, Speak Truth To Power - this experience has been amazing, transformative and at times a little challenging. The RFK Center does so much, touches on so many issues that at times it can be a little overwhelming but in the end, the work is important and someone has lead the way.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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