Tim Cook talks refugee crisis, education, and equality during RFK award acceptance
Last week we learned that Tim Cook was set to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2015 Ripple of Hope award, and last night the Apple CEO delivered his acceptance speech during the scheduled award ceremony. The RFK Center hasn’t yet posted video of last night’s event, but Bloomberg has shared excerpts of what it reports was a 12 minute speech across of a variety of political and social issues.
Naturally, Cook delivered his worldview on issues that he’s come to champion during his tenure as CEO of Apple, including voicing frustration over how some have responded to the Syrian refugee crisis, which Apple has raised money to aid through donations and a charity song.
“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.”
Cook also cited the state of education in America, which Apple has made efforts to improve through technology in partnership with the government:
“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.”
Finally, the Apple CEO continued championing marriage equality and LGBT protections in the US. Cook notably became the first leader of a major company to acknowledge being gay in a public essay published last year.
“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.
Cook has also publicly called on Congress to pass legislation that protects LGBT workers across the US, mirroring Apple’s own policies, on numerous occasions. Apple under Cook’s leadership has publicly backed such legislation, while denouncing controversial legislation around the country.
We’ll update with video from the event as soon as it’s available.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Education, equality, RFK Center, Ripple of Hope, Tim Cook, world issues