Rusty Kennedy is the Founding CEO in 1991 of the nonprofit Orange County Human Relations, whose mission has been to promote understanding among diverse residents and to eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.

Kennedy’s gathering of a diverse board of directors filled with devoted business, community and education leaders made it the cutting-edge organization it is today. He leads this dynamic partnership, which includes the nationally recognized BRIDGES: School Inter-Group Relations, Violence Prevention, Restorative Justice Program, a Mediation Program, and a Community Building Program that includes Diverse Leadership Development, Police/Community Relations Training, Collaborative Community Planning, Living Room Dialogues, Interfaith Dialogues, and Crisis Community Conflict Resolution. OC Human Relations reaches more than 40,000 middle and high school students annually, building their capacity to create safe, inclusive schools where bullying, put-downs and disrespect are discouraged.

Through BRIDGES’ anti-bullying, violence prevention and restorative justice programs, the nonprofit has reached more than 500,000 students over the last decade. Kennedy’s vision, frugal financial management and consistent strategic planning have enabled the steady growth of OC Human Relations in effective nonprofit programming.

“My parents taught me that we were given much, so we had an obligation to give back, so I devoted my life to creating a better world for all people, and this work gives me a great sense of fulfillment. I feel like I did what I could to make a difference for my children and for all children.” Rusty Kennedy