Fifty Years On, R F Kennedy’s Inspirational Words Still Resonate

Fifty years ago, R F Kennedy visited South Africa and addressed students at Wits and UCT, where he met with a number of struggle activists. His Ripple of Hope speech at UCT and his words to young people at Wits remain relevant, and formed the basis for an inspirational event in the Wits Theatre  (a dialogue in the Development and Human Rights Series). BRIDGE performs a knowledge management role in these dialogues in support of the Wits School of Governance, which manages the series along with occasional sponsors such as United National Development Programme.

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Panelists spoke to various aspects of Kennedy’s influential visit in 1966, which reminded those involved in the struggle against apartheid that they were not alone. Those on the panel were Patrick Gaspard (U S Ambassador to South Africa), Kerry Kennedy (daughter of R F Kennedy and president of the Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights), Kgalema Motlanthe (Former President of South Africa) and Gita Pather (Director of the Wits Theatre). Drama for Life actors from Wits performed compelling stories from Kerry Kennedy’s book Speak truth to power: human rights defenders who are changing our world. The audience included a number of well-known activists, both past and present, and participants engaged in some interaction with the panelists.

To read the report on this Dialogue, click here.

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