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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oak Institute at Colby College Accepting Applications for the 2015 Oak Human Rights Fellowship

Can you think of a front-line activist in need of respite?

We are pleased to issue this call for nominations for the 2015 Oak Human Rights Fellowship, sponsored by the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The fellowship is a one-semester appointment as an activist-in-residence. It is designed to provide human rights defenders doing "on-the-ground" work at some level of personal risk a respite from front-line duties to enable them to reflect, write, and communicate their work to our campus community. We are writing to ask your help in identifying the Oak Fellow for the fall of 2015.

Each year, we target our search for a human rights activist either regionally or functionally. The focus of this year's search is food sovereignty and human rights. In this call, we focus on the political, economic and environmental challenges of food production and food access by farmers, farm communities, and the rural and urban poor. Eligible candidates for this fellowship may be engaged in local efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity, national and regional efforts to ensure farmers' access to land and protection from "land-grabs," and/or global efforts for political and economic reforms to promote greater equity and justice in our increasingly globalized food systems. We ask that you help us identify candidates who are currently or were recently involved in on-the-ground activism and who are in need of respite.

The appointment is for the fall semester of 2015 (mid-August through mid-December). Responsibilities include participation in a lecture series or symposium in the fellow's area of expertise and regular interaction with Colby students through a one-credit non-graded discussion class. The College provides a stipend of $33,000, plus transportation, housing, health care coverage, and other fringe benefits. We encourage the fellow to bring family, and we will provide limited financial support for their travel as well.

In conducting our annual search, we rely heavily on nominations from NGOs, journalists, human rights lawyers, and academics --you are most likely to know of the work of on-the-ground professionals. Since your organization has been active in the field of human rights, we would like to solicit your help. Please submit nominations to us no later than November 1, 2014. We will contact your nominee(s) and suggest that he or she apply; but we also hope you will encourage your nominee to apply directly. Your nomination letter(s) will become part of the applicant's file, underscoring your recognition of this person's important contributions to human rights activism. The deadline for completed applications is December 5, 2014.

Please feel free to forward this announcement to individuals or groups that might be interested or might help us locate excellent candidates. If you prefer to have an electronic copy of this announcement with a PDF brochure, please let us know. If you have any questions, you can reach me at (207) 859-5305 or Assistant Director Amanda Cooley at oakhr@colby.edu. For more information, you can access our webpage at www.colby.edu/oak; we call your attention to the frequently asked questions section to clarify terms and eligibility. We underscore that the fellowship is for an individual who needs a break from the intensity of front line work. It is not a training program for someone at the earlier stages of human rights work; nor is it a traditional academic sabbatical. Final selection will be announced no later than April 15, 2015.

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