Kerry Kennedy is the mother of three daughters, Cara, Mariah, and Michaela. After graduating from Brown University and Boston College Law School, Ms. Kennedy established the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights to ensure the protection of rights codified under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in 1988. The Center provides an on going base of support to leading human rights defenders around the world.
She has worked on diverse human rights issues such as children’s rights, child labor, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, impunity, corporate responsibility, and the environment.
She has concentrated specifically on women’s rights, exposing injustices and educating audiences about women’s issues, particularly honor killings, sexual slavery, domestic violence, workplace discrimination, sexual assault, abuse of prisoners, and more. She has led over 40 human rights delegations to over 30 countries.
At a time of diminished idealism and growing cynicism about public service, her life and lectures are testaments to the commitment to the basic values of human rights. She is the author of Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World.
Ms. Kennedy’s commentaries and articles have been published in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun-Times, L’Unita, The Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, The New York Times, TV Guide, and the Yale Journal of International Law. Ms. Kennedy is Chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council, and is a judge for the Reebok Human Rights Award.
She serves on the board of directors of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University, Human Rights First, Inter Press Service news agency (Rome, Italy), the Bloody Sunday Trust (Northern Ireland), and The China Information Network. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Sakharov Award, the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, the International Campaign for Tibet, the Committee on the Administration of Justice of Northern Ireland, the Global Youth Action Network, Studies without Borders, and several other organizations.
She serves on the leadership council of the Amnesty International Campaign to stop violence against women. Ms. Kennedy received high honors from President Lech Walesa of Poland for aiding the Solidarity movement. She has received awards from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was named Woman of the Year 2001 by Save the Children, received the Crossing Boarders Award from the Feminist press in 2003, Humanitarian of the Year Award from the South Asian Media Awards Foundation, and the Prima Donna Award from Montalcino Vineyards.
Ms. Kennedy is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars. She holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Le Moyne College and an honorary doctorate of Human Letters from Bay Path College