Commemorate “Ripple of Hope” Speech
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) traveled to South Africa from Tuesday, May 31 – Sunday, June 5 as part of a Congressional delegation marking the fiftieth anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s “Ripple of Hope” speech, which was delivered at the University of Cape Town on June 6, 1966.
“I was honored to participate in this Congressional delegation to South Africa, a nation looking ever forward toward the future as it continues working to heal the rifts of the past and create opportunities for all its people,” stated Whip Hoyer. “To be at the University of Cape Town to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s historic ‘ripple of hope’ speech was extraordinary. Throughout the visit, I had the opportunity to meet with South African leaders to discuss how our nations can work more closely in ways that benefit both the United States and South Africa – as well as to increase opportunity and security throughout Africa.”
Hoyer and the delegation toured Liliesleaf, which was the center of the liberation movement, and met with senior anti-apartheid struggle veterans. They visited the Box Shop in Soweto with the Mayor of Johannesburg, where they discussed innovative partnerships with local entrepreneurs. They also met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and truth and reconciliation commission members. The delegation toured Robben Island before attending the Ripple of Hope Commemorative event held at the University of Cape Town. The delegation also met with the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, to discuss relations between the United States and South Africa, along with key business and social leaders.
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