Press Release

Speak Truth to Power
By Kerry Kennedy Cuomo
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 Cuomo 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)


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