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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Receive Robert F. Kennedy Center Award

The Ripple of Change Award recognizes work on behalf of social justice.

Human Rights Campaign

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook will collect a humanitarian award from an organization founded in honor of one of his personal heroes, Robert F. Kennedy.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights will present Cook with its Ripple of Hope Award on Dec. 8 in acknowledgment of his work on behalf of social change. He will be recognized in New York City, alongside U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s; Evercore co-founder and former assistant treasury secretary Roger Altman; and UNESCO Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis.

The Apple executive has become an outspoken advocate for workplace equality, arguing that businesses benefit when their workers feel fully recognized.

“At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don’t have to check their identity at the door,” Cook wrote in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal. “We’re committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.”

Cook, who last year publicly revealed he is gay, denounced Indiana’s “religious freedom” law that he feared would lead to discrimination against gays and lesbians. The state legislature subsequently amended the law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Earlier this year, Cook was honored with the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the U.S.

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