Speak Truth to Power

Raising new voices in human rights.

Program Overview

Speak Truth to Power is a human rights education program founded by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. The program introduces students to influential human rights defenders through powerful storytelling and interactive learning to inspire passion and action to end and prevent human rights abuses and violations around the world.

RFK Human Rights, in partnership with Discovery Education, Humanity United and Fund II Foundation, provides educators with flexible, standards-aligned digital resources, designed to educate, engage and inspire the next generation of human rights defenders.

What Are
Human Rights?

Human beings around the world, regardless of age, gender, religion, cultural background, or socioeconomic status, share a set of basic rights and freedoms simply because they are human. These include the right to food and shelter, to work and to rest, to own property and start a family, and to the freedom of thought and expression, among many others. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, consists of 30 articles that identify and explain these rights and call on all governments to promote and defend them.

Human Rights

Human rights education builds awareness, empathy and understanding of the basic rights shared by all people. But that is only the beginning. Every day, people around the world have their rights violated -by invading armies, their own governments, their employers or even their families. Human rights education, at its best, engages and empowers students, helping them to recognize and value their own power in making a difference, as they become the next generation of human rights defenders.


Support Empathy, Discussion, and Action in Students’ Homes 
Help students engage in human rights education throughout their daily lives with a handy toolkit of SEL-based resources for families. Parents and loved ones can work with students to develop a foundation of awareness and responsibility by tackling challenging topics together.

Empowering Educators

Strengthen Your Capacity as a Human Rights Educator
Learn effective strategies to engage your students in human rights issues with a Master Class Series featuring 5 inspiring human rights educators from across the country. An Educator Training Video helps you quickly familiarize yourself with Speak Truth to Power’s many versatile resources.

Virtual field trip

Virtual Field Trip

For the Present and the Future: A Conversation on Human Rights
Join Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and president of RFK Human Rights, as we bring together established and rising human rights defenders for an inspiring conversation about activism.

 Screenshot of the Interactive Defenders Map

Interactive Defenders Map

Explore Human Rights with the Interactive Defenders Map
Courageous men and women around the globe are willing to speak up and defend the rights of others, often at their own risk. Through The Defenders: An Interactive Map you can explore the stories of some of the world’s most influential human rights defenders.

Sonita Alizadeh

Video Vignettes and Classroom Activities

Meet the Defenders and Hear Their Stories
Speak Truth to Power human rights defenders tell their unforgettable stories in the “In Their Own Words” video series. Each video is accompanied by a classroom activity that challenges students to explore these remarkable stories and consider actions they can take in defending human rights.


Discovery Education has teamed up with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Humanity United and Fund II Foundation to bring Speak Truth to Power to the classroom. Speak Truth to Power, a global initiative dedicated to sharing the stories of human rights defenders around the world, provides compelling content for a set of flexible, standards-aligned digital resources, designed to educate, engage and inspire the next generation of human rights defenders.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Mission Statement

Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.