Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted the 2015 Ripple of Hope Award at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights on Tuesday night, and gave a nearly twelve minute speech about the need for social change, reports Bloomberg.

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Tim Cook at the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights (Image: Bloomberg)

Cook, who spoke after Evercore's Roger Altman and Unesco ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis, discussed a wide range of ongoing social issues, including the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change, Apple's charitable work, access to quality education, privacy and discrimination.
“Today, more than half of the states in this country still don’t offer basic protections to gay or transgender people, leaving millions of people vulnerable to being fired or evicted because of who they are or who they love,” Cook said.

"Today, some in our country would turn away innocent men, women and children seeking refuge,” Cook said, “regardless of how many background checks they may submit to, simply based on where they were born. Victims of war and now victims of fear and misunderstanding."

"Today, too many children are denied access to quality education simply because of the zip code they live in. They begin their lives facing strong headwinds and disadvantage they did nothing to deserve. We could do better, Robert Kennedy would say, and because we can do better, we must act."
Cook offered praise for Robert F. Kennedy and said he has two photographs of him in his office that he looks at each day. "I think about his example, what it means to me as an American, but also more specifically, to my role as Apple CEO."

Read more about Cook's acceptance speech in the full article on Bloomberg.

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