Marcus Rashford MBE, Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, climate activist Mary Robinson and Hillary Rodham Clinton will join community organisers and international voices at Manchester’s Ripples of Hope Festival this September.
By taking part in the Festival, Hillary Rodham Clinton will join local Manchester and international voices to think about the challenges we face as communities and as humanity; celebrate the power of people to make change; and explore how people can, together, make human rights a reality.
The Festival will see Kerry Kennedy, human rights activist and the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, present Marcus Rashford MBE with the first Ripple of Hope Next Generation Award in honour of his transformative, vital advocacy for young people across the UK.
Developed with Greater Manchester’s communities, the Festival’s Weekend to Inspire (17th-19th September) features three days of conversations, workshops and performances, exploring the themes of Dignity & Justice; Activism & Participation; Equity & Equality; Arts & Culture; and the Environment & Our Planet.
Audiences will engage with contributions from activists and artists including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi; journalist Amelia Gentleman; human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell; CEO of In Place of War Ruth Daniel; poet Brenda Birungi; former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal OBE; writer Hannah Pool; leader of the Women’s Equality Party Mandu Reid, human rights barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Manchester Museum director Esme Ward and many more.
Author and activist Elif Shafak will give the PEN HG Wells Lecture at the Festival, introduced by human rights lawyer Philippe Sands QC.
A central thread to the Festival will be the power of poetry to provoke and inspire.
Simon Armitage, who was named UK Poet Laureate in 2019, has convened 30 leading poets from around the world – from Manchester’s Young Identity and Keisha Thompson to international artists including Kwame Dawes and Tishani Doshi – to create a unique poetic response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Festival will feature three evening Poetry Galas in which this body of work will be unveiled.
The Festival will open with the second Ripples of Hope Business & Investment Summit on Wednesday 15th September 2021, which brings together senior business decision-makers to explore the crucial role of business and leaders as champions for a fair society.
Delegates will hear from speakers including renowned business leader Paul Polman; co-founder of B-Lab UK Charmian Love; entrepreneur Vikas Shah MBE; Chair of the North West Business Leadership Team Jonathan Murphy; and the co-founder of Savannah Wisdom Shalni Arora.
The second day of the Festival, Thursday 16th September 2021, is a day for invited Greater Manchester schools – themed This Is Us.
Building on Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK’s Speak Truth To Power human rights education programme, students will explore Our Humanity and Our Power and celebrate their poetic, visual and film work created in response to the question ‘What does it mean to be human?’
Alongside the activities at HOME, the Ripples of Hope Festival also features Feasts of Hope, in which people and organisations across Greater Manchester are hosting their own community feasts to bring people together for meaningful dialogue and connection.
“We’re at a critical moment for our communities and for the world,” said Ripples of Hope Festival’s Artistic Director Jude Kelly CBE.
“The last year exposed brutal realities of injustice and inequality. And it calls on us to act.
“Through this Festival, we celebrate that simple truth – there is nothing more powerful than people coming together and recognising that all of us can make a difference in our own way and, in Robert F. Kennedy’s words, be a ripple of hope.
“We’re so proud to be launching this Festival in Greater Manchester – a region that has inspired both ground-breaking art and transformative social progress.
“We hope you’ll join us to think about and commit ourselves to the future we can create, together.”
Tickets to attend the Ripples of Hope Festival in person and online go on sale today – visit ripplesofhopefestival.org.