Barack Obama accepts the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award in New York

Guess who’s back in town: Barack Obama beams as he accepts the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award in New York

  • Barack Obama grinned ear to ear as he accepted the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award in New York on Wednesday evening
  • Award is dedicated to leaders who demonstrate ‘commitment to social change’ 
  • In his speech he said:  ‘Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead’
  • He was presented with the bronze bust by organization president Kerry Kennedy 
  • Past recipients of the award include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bono, George Clooney and Robert De Niro

Marlene Lenthang For Dailymail.com

Barack Obama was all smiles as he was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award in New York on Wednesday evening. 

The former president, 57, was honored with the special award that celebrates leaders who demonstrate ‘commitment to social change’. 

Past recipients of the award include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bono, George Clooney and Robert De Niro. 

Barack Obama grinned ear to ear as he accepted the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award in New York on Wednesday evening

Barack Obama grinned ear to ear as he accepted the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award in New York on Wednesday evening

Obama accepted the award presented by Kerry Kennedy onstage at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards gala on Wednesday in New York

Obama accepted the award presented by Kerry Kennedy onstage at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards gala on Wednesday in New York

Obama accepted the award presented by Kerry Kennedy onstage at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards gala on Wednesday in New York

The former president grinned ear to ear as he accepted the award, a bronze bust of Bobby Kennedy’s likeness, by the organization’s president Kerry Kennedy.

In his acceptance remarks Obama urged the audience to be hopeful towards the future. 

‘Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead. If we persist…together we can overcome,’ he said. 

‘The story of the last 50 years is the story of a more just and peaceful world. I have seen it. I have lived it. You have too,’ he added. 

He also reminded the audience ‘it’s easy to succumb to cynicism’ adding ‘Bobby Kennedy’s life reminds us to reject such cynicism.’ 

‘I’m not sure if you heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for quite awhile,’ he joked, citing the central theme of hope in his previous campaign trail speeches.   

In his speech he focused on the hope of the future saying: 'Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead'

In his speech he focused on the hope of the future saying: 'Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead'

In his speech he focused on the hope of the future saying: ‘Hope is the insistence that no matter how tough our circumstances, there are better days ahead’

'I’m not sure if you heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for quite awhile,' he joked, citing the central theme of hope in his previous campaign trail speeches

'I’m not sure if you heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for quite awhile,' he joked, citing the central theme of hope in his previous campaign trail speeches

‘I’m not sure if you heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for quite awhile,’ he joked, citing the central theme of hope in his previous campaign trail speeches

After accepting his prized award he smiled for pictures with celebrities at the star-studded event including Dorothea Bon Jovi and Jon Bon Jovi

After accepting his prized award he smiled for pictures with celebrities at the star-studded event including Dorothea Bon Jovi and Jon Bon Jovi

After accepting his prized award he smiled for pictures with celebrities at the star-studded event including Dorothea Bon Jovi and Jon Bon Jovi

The president also took to Twitter to reiterate his speech, reminding the public on the achievements of Bobby Kennedy, who the award is modeled after. 

‘As Bobby Kennedy taught us, the thing about hope is that it travels through space *and* time, first splashing against the rocks, but eventually breaking down the walls of cruelty and injustice. And if we do our best with the time we’re given, others will take hope in our example,’ Obama wrote. 

Also being honored were New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav and Humana CEO Bruce Broussard. 

Also in attendance were Jon Bon Jovi, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, actress Cheryl Hines and actor Keegan-Michael Key. 

This year also marks the 50 anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign for the White House. 

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