Celebrating Robert F. Kennedy’s vision for peace & social justice
The European event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Campaign of Senator Robert Francis Kennedy, whose civil rights battles were abruptly interrupted with his assassination on 5 June 1968 in Los Angeles, took place on October 25, 2018 at the Riva Tunnel in the Principality of Monaco graciously offered by Lia Riva. The Gala Dinner was organized by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Italy, chaired by Marilina Marcucci and Donato Tramuto, the first branch outside the USA that contributed to the dissemination of the Foundation’s activities and works relentlessly to make RFK’s dream a reality. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco attended the celebration to pay tribute to RFK’s vision for peace and social justice.
It was in 1968 that the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation was created in RFK’s memory for his commitment to human rights; a bequest continued by his wife Ethel Kennedy and his family. Kerry Kennedy, one his daughters, human rights activist and International President of the Foundation, was present at the Gala Dinner and made a very moving presentation about his father’s enduring legacy of social justice. RFK dedicated his presidential campaign, half a century ago, to peace, justice and compassion for those in need, working to end racism and put an end to poverty. Kerry Kennedy said: “My father dreamed of a world where people could maintain a good standard of living while pursuing their dreams. This was a promise not just for the wealthy, not just for some people, but for all. My father’s vision prioritized prosperity through peace.”
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Italy aims to raise awareness on the ideals of Senator Kennedy through a human rights education project called “Courage without borders / Speak truth to power” aimed at schools of all levels and two projects specific on the fight against bullying and cyber-bullying and on the interaction between tourism and human rights. In recent years the Italian association is dedicating itself to supporting projects on the inclusion of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers through the “Flagship event for Mediterranean challenges” initiative.
The Board of Directors of the RFK Foundation in Italy is composed of Kerry Kennedy (Honorary President), Marialina Marcucci (President), Donato Tramuto (Co-President), Riccardo Monti (Treasurer), Franco Anelli, Marco Gualtieri, Phil Johnston, Stefano Lucchini , Enzo Manes, Antonino Mattarella, Lia Riva.
On this important occasion the RFK Foundation in Italy presented the 50th Anniversary Awards, created and donated by Italian sculptor Andrea Roggi, to:
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, for his commitment to an eco-sustainable environment, in particular for the protection of the oceans through his Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Alessandro Benetton for placing sustainable development at the center of its 21 investment & 21 Partners group.
Harry Benson for his career dedicated to the history of human rights violations and the figure of Robert F. Kennedy, until the end of his life.
Yoani María Sánchez Cordero, the Cuban blogger who has received numerous international awards for her commitment to informing the critical situation of her country under the current government, will be awarded with The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.
Fundraising auction by Christie’s
The fundraising auction by Christie’s held during the Gala Dinner was very successful. The organizers express their heartfelt gratitude to sponsors, donors and bidders for their generosity. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the “Vento di Terra” ONG projects in favour of Syrian children. During the evening Maestro Nahel Al Halabi, a Syrian refugee in Italy, conducted in concert 11 musicians accompanied by the projection of dramatic images from Syria.
The auction was composed of 25 lots, most of them works of art by internationally renowned artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Marco Nereo Rotelli, Renato Missaglia, Massimo Listri, Andrea Roggi, Elisabetta di Maggio, Paolo Icaro, Maria Morganti, Remo Saalvadori, Roberta de Paoli, Carolina Antichi, Stefano Arienti, Giuseppe Caccavale, Alice Cattaneo, Flavio Favelli, Maria Teresa Sartori, Paul Gerben and an unpublished photo of Robert F. Kennedy with his daughter Kerry taken by Harry Benson.
Other unique items included: Abarth Rivale car combined with a day on a Rivale boat, offered by Lia Riva; Repossi piece; VIGNA jewellery piece; the first in a limited series of 50 Hublot watches, and a set of Foglizzo custom suitcases.
Eight & Bob worked with RFK Human Rights to promote a special Edition of their iconic perfume “The Original”, presented to all the guests at the end of the evening.
The Gala also honoured the memory of famous Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi, a friend of the Kennedy Family. Marchesi ‘s famous and delicious risotto with gold and saffron was served during dinner to the delight of all the guests.
Ripple of Hope Award ceremony in New York
On December 12, 2018, the anniversary celebrations will culminate with a Gala in New York where the Ripple of Hope Award will be presented to: President Obama, the Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO of Humana Inc., and David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery network.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. 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