Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today announced that Fran Drescher, SAG-AFTRA president, actor, writer, and activist, will receive the 2023 Ripple of Hope Award in recognition of her leadership advocating for workers’ rights.
Drescher will join fellow 2023 honorees, including The Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust, a donor-advised fund of the Arizona Community Foundation, and the previously announced January 6th Select Committee, at the annual Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City on December 6.
The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award honors exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights. Since being elected SAG-AFTRA president in 2021 during an unprecedented time in the union’s history, Drescher has sought to safeguard workers and performers amid new industry challenges, has encouraged a culture of respect and empathy, and has advocated for a living wage.
“Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has a long history of supporting union activity, and my father worked alongside union organizer Cesar Chavez to protect vulnerable farmworkers,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Fran works in a different industry, but she has committed herself to the same goal – ensuring that human rights don’t end at the workplace door. Her tireless work ethic and passion have brought national attention to the cause and highlighted the power of collective bargaining.”
An award-winning actress and comedienne, Drescher is well-known for her portrayal of The Nanny, which she co-created and executive produced. Beyond her contributions to the arts, Drescher has leveraged her celebrity on behalf of the greater good. She is a committed advocate for marginalized communities and is actively involved in supporting key issues such as LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, civil liberties, and, of course, arts and education. A 23-year cancer survivor, she founded the non-profit Cancer Schmancer in 2007 to improve cancer care through a multi-pronged approach focused on prevention, early detection, and policy change. Named one of the “Top 5 Celebrity Lobbyists in D.C.” by The Washingtonian, Drescher was instrumental in getting the Gynecologic Cancer Education Awareness Act passed by unanimous consent and was appointed Public Diplomacy Envoy by the U.S. State Department during the Bush and Obama Administrations.
“I am honored to be a recipient of the RFK Ripple of Hope Award,” said Drescher. “To be recognized for my efforts on behalf of workers pays tribute to my hard-working parents who taught me to respect and value America’s labor force. The future of industry relies on redefining success to include respect, empathy, and spirituality in harmony with every decision made.”
Previous Ripple of Hope laureates include Stacey Abrams, then-Vice President Joe Biden, Bono, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Tim Cook, Dr. Anthony Fauci, poet Amanda Gorman, Dolores Huerta, Colin Kaepernick, late Congressman John Lewis, former President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Robert F. Smith, and Desmond Tutu.
Learn more about RFK Human Rights and its annual Ripple of Hope Award here.