Press Releases | March 4, 2019

Kennedy King Memorial Initiative receives $10,000 from The Mind Trust to train 30 local teachers on the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Speak Truth to Power Curriculum

INDIANAPOLIS (March 4, 2019) – The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative (KKMI), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, today announced that it has been awarded a $10,000 School-Community Partnership Investment from local education nonprofit The Mind Trust to provide training and curriculum support to local educators on the RFK Human Rights Speak Truth to Power curriculum.

KKMI will use the funds to conduct a one-day training and offer curriculum support for 30 educators who teach in charter, district, and Innovation Network Schools within the boundaries of Indianapolis Public Schools. These teachers will become a part of the Speak Truth to Power local coalition. Additionally, Speak Truth to Power will be conducted by RFK Human Rights Midwest Lead Educator, Michelle Haddix, a teacher from Herron High School. KKMI anticipates this training program significantly impact students who interact with the curriculum and that the cohort of educators who implement it will serve as a professional network to promote and sustain human rights education in Indianapolis.

The training is available to 30 K-12 teachers, and will take place on Friday, April 12, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the Kennedy King Park Center, located in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 601 E. 17th St. in Indianapolis. Teachers selected to participate will receive a training stipend, and their schools will receive resources to provide for teacher support that day.

“KKMI’s mission is to build on the historical events of April 4, 1968, to raise awareness, provoke thought and inspire action to eliminate division and injustice,” said Lena Hackett, KKMI managing partner. “This partnership will allow us to expand this human rights education and build awareness, empathy and understanding of the basic rights all people are entitled to and offer pathways for students to become the next generation of champions of justice in their own communities.”

“We want education to be transformative and this curriculum does precisely that – it inspires action,” said Shannon Williams, senior vice president of community engagement at The Mind Trust. “Educators in this cohort will empower students to create positive change, thus making them true defenders of human rights. The Mind Trust is proud to support this initiative and we are incredibly excited about the impact it will have on students and ultimately the greater community.”

The Mind Trust’s School-Community Partnership Investments are one-time awards that empower valued community organizations to create programs that expand educational opportunities for students and families. Recognizing the vital role community partnerships play in the long-term success of schools, The Mind Trust awards School-Community Partnership Investments to facilitate the development of deep, impactful, and reciprocal partnerships between community organizations and schools.

“My father believed we each have a moral obligation to speak truth to power, and I’m thrilled to see Indianapolis investing in a human rights education curriculum that encourages students to find their voices as human rights defenders. Education is the tool through which the youth of today become the human rights leaders of tomorrow,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

RFK’s Human Rights Education program is based on Kerry Kennedy’s book, “Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World.” Speak Truth to Power offers immersive educational experiences and unique, multi-platform online learning tools, including: standards-aligned digital resources, video vignettes, biographies and thought-provoking classroom activities to help students further explore pathways to become champions of justice in their own communities.

“The legacy of Dr. King and Senator Kennedy in Indianapolis is rightfully centered on human rights,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “With this money, our teachers will receive classroom resources and professional development to ensure our children learn about this important time in our history and become advocates, themselves, for change. Our community and its leadership is strengthened by partnerships like this one, and I am proud that we are working together to keep this chapter of Indianapolis history alive.”

Teachers who are interested in attending the training can contact KKMI to receive an application at: or visit to download an application.


About Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative is a voluntary 501(c)3 organization based in Indianapolis that works to commemorate the historic speech delivered by Senator Robert F. Kennedy in Indianapolis on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The organization’s mission is to keep this unique moment in history alive and to leverage the message of Dr. King and Senator Kennedy to address issues of division and injustice experienced today. With support from the Indiana Pacers Foundation in 1994, an evocative and inspirational memorial sculpture was erected in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. –

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, and access to a great school. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the supports they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 24 schools and helped placed more than 1,400 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at Organizations interested in applying for a School-Community Partnership Investment can reach out to

About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued justice through strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of children in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.

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