Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for Human Rights Advocacy

Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for Human Rights Advocacy

"If man has been able to create the arts, the sciences and the material civilization we know in America, why should he be judged powerless to create justice, fraternity and peace?"
- Ladis Kristof


Background Information

Ladis Kristof was an East European refugee who fled to the West after World War II. He was a founding member of the Portland, Oregon Amnesty group and a Professor of Political Science at Portland State University who believed that we each have the power to transform ourselves and our society. His faith in humankind’s “ability to recover from lapses” and “climb to higher level of…achievement” – maintained despite a personal history of loss, imprisonment and exile – is the same faith that underlies Amnesty International’s mission to harness the power of collective action to ensure justice and freedom for all people. Ladis Kristof’s personal generosity and determination inspired many: family and friends, colleagues and students, and the human rights activists of AIUSA’s Portland, Oregon Local Group #48.

AIUSA is proud to strengthen and expand Ladis Kristof’s legacy and honor his lifelong commitment to human rights by partnering with the Kristof family on the the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for Human Rights Advocacy, a fellowship to honor and inspire a new generation of human rights defenders.

Past Fellows Include:

2011 - Latif Hamzah (University of Michigan-Dearborn)
2012 - Stacy Suh (University of California, Berkeley)
2013 - Mbaluka Michael Mutinda (Stephen F. Austin State University)
2014 - Aquib Yacoob (Colby College)
2015 - Gerry Carolina Riverdeneira (Mount Holyoke College)

Fellowship Description

One exceptional AIUSA student activist will receive the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for his or her outstanding efforts on behalf of human rights, and will be awarded a ten-week residency with the Member Engagement Unit. The Fellow will work closely to develop a project around a priority campaign and help strengthen member communications at the regional and national level. The Fellowship will promote a deeper understanding of human rights work, strengthen the Fellow’s advocacy skills, and further prepare her or him to be an effective life-long activist. The Kristof Fellow will work out of one of the national offices located in New York or Washington, DC.

The Fellow's residency expenses for the ten-week period, including airfare to and from the New York or DC office, will be covered by a $6,500 stipend.

The Fellow will join dynamic, in-progress efforts on all priority bodies of work, building knowledge of domestic and international human rights issues and learning the channels and practices by which Amnesty International delivers much-needed public and governmental scrutiny to end suffering and violations of human rights. The Fellow will also be provided travel to AIUSA’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in Miami, Florida, where AIUSA will announce the awardee and the Fellow will be formally honored in Ladis Kristof’s name.

Support this work by making a donation to the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship.

Desired Qualities of Candidates

Candidates for the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship should be individuals who have shown a strong track record of advocacy and intend to cultivate a life-long engagement with the work and principles central to Ladis Kristof, the Kristof family, Amnesty International and the human rights movement. Consistency and persistence in human rights work, such as sustained work on behalf of a prisoner of conscience, steadfast campaigning on a particular human rights issue, or building up a group or region over a substantial period of time, will be valued over successful one-time events. Candidates must embody the Kristof belief in a long-term view of human rights work in which progress occurs through courage and determination even, and especially, in the face of continuing adversity.

The Fellowship will be awarded to a leader for the next generation of human rights activists and someone who will display the tenacity and deep passion for justice required to make human rights a guiding principle rather than a passing interest. The potential Fellow will provide in their application an overview of their existing work with AIUSA, but the applicant’s record of commitment to organizing and activism and desire to further develop these skills will take highest priority in the selection process.

Eligibility Requirements

AIUSA student human rights leaders from any field of study are invited and encouraged to apply. Amnesty International is an equal opportunity employer and organization, committed to diversity. Applicants representing under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

In order to be eligible for the Kristof Fellowship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

-Be enrolled as an undergraduate student as of May 1, 2016 OR a graduating high school senior at least 18 years of age by May 1, 2016
-Have been active with an AIUSA Local or Student Group for at least one year at the time of application;
-Be able to complete a ten-week summer residency at an AIUSA Office
-Be able to attend the AIUSA Annual General Meeting in Miami, Florida.

How to Apply

To be considered for the Kristof Fellowship, applicants should submit the following materials by January 15, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

1.Application form (below).
2.Cover letter explaining the applicant’s experience, qualifications, and interest in the fellowship
3.Resume outlining all relevant experience (academic, volunteer, or other).
4. Personal statement (not to exceed 750 words) identifying the human rights issue(s) and bodies of work, including advocacy and activism skills, the applicant is most interested in exploring during the Fellowship (include why the applicant is interested in these areas, and what advocacy and activism skills the applicant hopes to build).
5. Two letters of recommendation. At least one of the letters must be from an AIUSA staff member, faculty advisor, or member leader (i.e. an Area Coordinator, Student Activist Coordinator, Country Specialist, etc). The second letter can be from anyone familiar with the applicant’s experience and character.

Apply to the Ladis Kristof Fellowship here

All materials can be submitted electronically in .pdf format to Adam Cross at If you would like to mail your application, please ensure arrival by 5:00pm EST on January 15, 2016, and send to:

Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship Submission
c/o Adam Cross
Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10001


January 15, 2016 - Applications are due by 5:00pm EST
February 6, 2016- Finalists will be contacted to schedule a telephone interview with the Selection Committee
February 26, 2016 - Ladis Kristof Fellowship winner will be notified
April, 2016 - Fellowship award will be presented at the Annual General Meeting in Miami
Summer 2016 - Fellowship will be carried out in National Office

For questions, please contact Adam Cross at or (212) 239-7321.

Our Gratitude

Our deep appreciation goes to the Kristof family for their generous support of this Fellowship and for their commitment to inspiring a new generation of human rights activists. Whether you wish to make a gift that will honor Ladis's legacy or that will inspire the next generation of activists, you may send your donation to:

Amnesty International USA
ATTN: Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship
5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001