Launching the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship

Submitted by Joanne Lau, Group 48 Coordinator

For two months this fall, I got to work with one of our founding members, Jane Kristof, her son, New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, and staff members of Amnesty International USA to establish the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship in memory of Jane’s husband, also a founding member of Group 48, Ladis “Kris” Kristof.

This was started from Nicholas offering to make a generous donation to AIUSA. I held a few discussions at the monthly Group 48 meeting to gather ideas on what we could do to remember Kris. We came to a conclusion of setting up an annual award to honor a student activist. We thought that it would just be a small recognition for the winner and possibly an all-expense paid trip to the AIUSA Annual General Meeting. It snowballed into an eight-week fellowship, thanks to the creativity of Western Regional Director Rini Chakraborty and Field Organizer Sara Schmidt.

Adding help from staff members of several departments and also Development Officer, Sara Oshikawa-Clay, a schedule was set up for the fellowship along with an application which the Kristof’s and I reviewed. Two months of hard work came to fruition earlier this month when the fellowship was announced through email (as shown below). I am humbled by the process involved in establishing a new annual award for AIUSA and honoring a great man.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the establishment of AIUSA’s newest fellowship, the Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship for Organizing and Activism! This Fellowship, which is open to outstanding AIUSA student activists who are in college, honors the legacy of Ladis Kristof, a founding member of the Portland Amnesty group and lifelong human rights activist.

Each year, one exceptional AIUSA student activist will receive the Kristof Fellowship for his/her outstanding efforts on behalf of human rights and AIUSA. The Fellow will receive a $3,500 stipend to complete an eight-week residency with an AIUSA Regional Field Organizer, plus travel to AIUSA’s 2011 Annual General Meeting. In the 2011 inaugural year, the Kristof Fellow will be based in AIUSA’s Western Regional Office in San Francisco, California.

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