Speak Truth to Power

A Chicagoland Debut

February 4 – June 24, 2018

Kerry Kennedy spent several years interviewing human rights defenders from around the world for the book Speak Truth to Power. The project has since grown into a multi-faceted campaign for advocacy.

Experience the Midwest debut of the photographic exhibit that highlights over 40 human rights defenders from over 40 countries, spanning 6 continents.

Through stunning black and white portraits taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams, this exhibit celebrates those who have worked tirelessly to fight for various freedoms and urges visitors to #TAKEASTAND against current human rights violations.

Speak Truth to Power highlights activists who have worked tirelessly to defend justice in the areas of political rights, freedom of expression, honor killings, demilitarization, environmental activism, mental health, children’s rights, national self-determination and more. 

Featured Upstanders include Bobby Muller from the U.S., Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Baltasar Garzon of Spain; Nobel Prize laureates His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias, Rigoberta Menchú, Jose Ramos-Horta, and Wangari Maathai, in addition to every day heroes..


Grand Opening

Sunday, February 4, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, provides keynote remarks, sharing insights from her book Speak Truth to Power, and her family’s storied tradition of public service.

Learn more about the special exhibition Speak Truth to Power: Human  Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.



Live Performance

Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark

Monday, March 26, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

In partnership with Lookingglass Theatre Company, we present for one evening only Ariel Dorfman’s play Voices from Beyond the Dark, based on interviews Kerry Kennedy conducted with a wide range of world activists for her book Speak Truth to Power. This powerful drama that examines how evil can be overcome with determination and knowledge will be performed by some of Chicago’s finest actors under the direction of Lookingglass Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh.

$10 Member, $20 Non-member.



Ticketing links for the following programs will be available by January 31, 2018…

The Dilemma of Free Speech: From Skokie to Charlottesville*
Date TBA

Jason C. DeSanto, Senior Lecturer, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, will examine the First Amendment, both as related to the attempted neo-Nazi March in Skokie 1978 and in regard to more current events and concerns tied to societal issues and individual rights.

Taking Action in Defense of Human Rights
Date TBA

Daily headlines and news bulletins expose us to challenges being faced by people the world over and in our own communities. Panelists representing a number of organizations will share why and how they have taken a stand to tackle such issues as homelessness, violence, hunger and immigration.

Live Performance: Train
Thursday, May 17, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Students of Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School working with a playwright and director from Northlight Theatre will perform an original play inspired by the book Train by Danny M. Cohen. The story focuses on six teenagers in 1943 Berlin, giving voice to lesser heard victims of Nazism—the Roma, the disabled, homosexuals, intermarried Jews and political enemies of the regime.

The Right Side of History? LGBT Human Rights Worldwide
June 2018
Across the globe, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) continue to face violence, legal discrimination, inequality, and other human rights violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Join us for a thought-provoking conversation as we explore the history, early battles, defeats, and victories in the struggle to achieve equality, and learn what we can do to stand in full solidarity to defend human rights for all LGBT people.


In The News

Modern Luxury | The Good Fight Read online>

For The Press

Click here to access the press release, downloadable photos, and more.


The Museum’s presentation of Speak Truth to Power is sponsored by David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation with additional funds from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Contributing Sponsor: David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation
Additional Funder: Illinois Arts Council Agency
Speak Truth to Power is a project of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights,
photograph © Eddie Adams.

The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Museum Blog