Press Release

Speak Truth to Power
By Kerry Kennedy
Photographs by Eddie Adams

Speak Truth to Power presents an inspiring rainbow of heroes from more than thirty-five countries and five continents. In searing and uplifting interviews, veteran human rights activist Kerry Kennedy examines the quality of courage with women and men who are dramatically changing the course of events in their communities and countries. Imprisoned, tortured, and threatened with death, they speak with compelling eloquence on the subjects to which they have devoted their lives and for which they have been willing to sacrifice—from free expression to the rule of law, from women’s rights to religious liberty, from environmental defense to eradicating slavery.

Accompanying the interviews is a powerful series of portraits by world-renowned photographer Eddie Adams. This is his first book, representing two years of crisscrossing the globe to make these deeply felt and insightful images. Many of these courageous individuals are internationally celebrated, such as Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, but the vast majority of the defenders are unknown and (as yet) unsung beyond their national boundaries.

Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World is a multi-faceted project which launched in 2000 with the publication of the book by Random House, the launch of a human rights activism web site hosted by America Online, and a photography exhibition that opened a worldwide tour at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The launch of the exhibition and the book was celebrated with a reception at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The evening at the Kennedy Center, hosted by President Clinton, featured some of America’s finest actors portraying the human rights defenders. Performers included Giancarlo Esposito, Kevin Kline, John Malkovich, Rita Moreno and Sigourney Weaver, with live music by Jackson Browne and Hugh Masekela. Additional presentations are scheduled in major cities around the country.

The project also includes an educational packet on human rights issues that will be distributed to high schools and colleges throughout the country as a means of promoting awareness of human rights issues. (see Spring 2001 above)


EDDIE ADAMS, winner of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize and recipient of more than 500 international national and local awards is one of the most decorated and published photographers in America today. Adams`s photographs have been seen on the covers and front pages of international magazines including Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Stern, Paris Match, Parade, Vanity Fair, Life, and the London Sunday Times. Adams currently resides in New York City with his wife, Alyssa, and son, August.

KERRY KENNEDY is the mother of three girls, Cara, Mariah, and Michaela. She started working in human rights in 1981; since then, her life has been devoted to the establishment of equal justice. She has led more than forty human rights delegations to more than thirty countries. Kennedy established the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1987 to ensure the protection of rights codified under the UN Declaration of Human Rights. She has worked on diverse issues such as child labor, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, the environment, and women`s rights. Kennedy serves as Chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council and serves on boards or advisory committees for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the Bloody Sunday Trust, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, the Gleitsman Foundation, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland), and the International Campaign for Tibet, among others. She is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars.

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