Deven Parekh, Indian American managing director of VC firm Insight Partners, was one of four winners of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2021 Ripple of Hope Awards. The other three honorees, announced July 21, were: Stacey Abrams, political leader, entrepreneur, and author; José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group; and Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon.
For 53 years, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award has honored exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have taken a bold stand for justice and human rights, not only supporting these causes in principle but actively working to protect and advance the dignity and well-being of all, stated a press release.
This year’s laureates embody the steadfast commitment and ingenuity needed to create lasting change, particularly in the areas of voting rights and racial equity. They have mobilized and inspired countless others to join the fight to ensure all Americans—especially Black, Brown, young, and poor voters—have an equal opportunity to make their voices heard and their views represented, added the release.
The laureates will be honored Dec. 9 at a hybrid ceremony featuring master of ceremonies actor Alec Baldwin.
According to the release, Parekh, since joining Insight Partners in 2000, has been a vocal advocate for opportunity and inclusion, initiating efforts to promote women and minority leaders across Insight’s internal team, portfolio, and the wider software and investment ecosystems as a whole. Based in New York City, Insight Partners is a venture capital and private equity firm.
A member of the board of directors for several institutions, including the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and NYU Langone, Parekh is also chairman emeritus of the board of Publicolor, a nonprofit organization focused on New York City public schools. In 2006, he was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, which seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders.
“For as long as Americans have had the right to vote, we’ve had enemies of democracy working to restrict, suppress, and violate the will of the people, particularly those from poor and underrepresented communities,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “These underlying problems within our political system do not happen in a vacuum. We need the decisive, moral leadership of people like our 2021 Ripple of Hope Award laureates to uplift the voices of the marginalized and dismantle the oppressive structural causes of injustice and inequality across all arenas.”
“Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy of courage and his spirit of humanitarianism have inspired generations of Americans, including myself,” said Parekh. “His commitment to economic equality and social progress has endured the test of time. I am truly humbled and honored to accept the Ripple of Hope Award alongside such accomplished leaders.”
The Ripple of Hope Award, noted the release, is inspired by Robert F. Kennedy’s most famous speech, the 1966 Day of Affirmation address he gave in South Africa at the height of apartheid: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Previous winners of the Ripple of Hope Award include Barack Obama, Tim Cook, Colin Kaepernick, Dolores Huerta, Desmond Tutu, Hillary Clinton, John Lewis, Bono, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Nancy Pelosi, Robert F. Smith, George Clooney, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.