Hedy Epstein’s social activism was informed by her life’s experiences, mostly painful experiences, but also by the examples of her parents and extended Kippenheim family, and, later through the joyful experiences of meeting and advocating with others enduring similar hardships. She was drawn to causes that paralleled her own traumas, she advocated for refugees, for the dispossessed, for Americans living with daily prejudices as they fought for their civil rights, for children living with violence and the innocent victims of government-sponsored terror. In November 1988 Hedy was recognized by the St. Louis Ethical Society with the 1988 J. F. Hornback Ethical Humanist of the Year Award for “outstanding service as a peace and justice advocate with a lifelong commitment to Tikkun olam, the just reordering of the world.” Hedy’s speech that evening spoke to the inner forces that drove her to act.

The evolution of who I am has not been limited by fear and hate based on what happened, but rather has served as a catalyst. It awakened my conscience and has given rise to a belief and a hope for a future dedicated to humanity and to peace for all people everywhere.