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.


Live Performance

Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark

Monday, March 26, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

For one performance only, eight of Chicago’s finest actors from Lookingglass Theatre Company perform Chilean-American writer and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman’s SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER: Voices from Beyond the Dark.

This powerful drama, adapted from Kerry Kennedy’s book, chronicles the true-story accounts of human rights advocates, detainees, torture-survivors, lawmakers and activists withstanding horrific human rights abuses across the globe, and examines how determination can trump evil.

Following the performance, the cast will participate in an audience talk back.

$10 Member, $20 Non-member.





Thursday, May 31, 6:30 PM -8:00 PM

Community Partners:

Do Nazis have free speech rights?  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.

Free to Members. Free with Museum admission.  Reservations required.



Thursday, May 10, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Daily headlines and news bulletins expose us to challenges being faced by people in our communities and all over the world.  Panelists from local organizations share why and how they have taken a stand to tackle such issues and homelessness, violence, hunger and immigration, and how one can volunteer to help.

Free to Members. Free with Museum admission.  Reservations required.



Thursday, May 17, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Community Partners: Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Northlight Theatre

An original play inspired by Danny M. Cohen‘s book Train – the young adult thriller about the six teenagers who witnessed and tried to escape the Nazi round-ups in 1943 Berlin – is performed by students of Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School.  This special performance gives voice to lesser heard victims of Nazism – the Roma, the disabled, homosexuals, intermarried Jews and political enemies of the regime.  A talk back with he actors and author follows.

Free to Members. Free with Museum admission.  Reservations required.



Sunday, June 10, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Community Partners: Equality Illinois, Windy City Media

Across the globe, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBTQ) 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 acheive equality, and learn what we can do to stand in full solidarity to defend human rights for all LGBTQ people.

Free to Members. Free with Museum admission.  Reservations required.



In The News

Chicago Jewish News | Speaking Truth to Power…
Read online>

WGN TV | Defenders of human rights honored at Illinois Holocaust Museum
Watch online>

WGN Radio | Author and advocate Kerry Kennedy wants to celebrate the faces of human rights
Listen online>

Windy City Times | ‘Speak Truth to Power’ Midwest debut features Kerry Kennedy
Read online>

Make It Better | 5 Things to Do: February 2-4
Read online>

Windy City Times | Holocaust Museum to debut Speak Truth to Power touring exhibition
Read online>

Daily North Shore | Kerry Kennedy Coming to Holocaust Museum
Read online>

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.




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