Oak Institute at Colby College
Accepting Applications for the
2016 Oak Human Rights Fellowship
Dear Colleague,

This is a reminder of the December 4th deadline for completed applications for the Oak Human Rights Fellowship. If you wish to apply or to forward information to a deserving candidate, you can find the relevant information and material at our website at

Thank you in advance.

Walter Hatch
Can you think of an artist-activist in need of respite?
We are pleased to issue this call for nominations for the 2016 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 2016.
Each year, we target our search for a human rights activist either regionally or functionally. The focus of this year’s search is the arts and human rights. We are exploring the intersection between the arts and human rights, giving particular attention to the use of creative expression as a tool to initiate and further discussion of various rights violations. Eligible candidates for this fellowship may find themselves struggling mightily to exercise the right of creative expression in the face of repression; or they may pursue one or more creative means to advance the causes of peace, freedom and social justice.
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. This call for nominations welcomes applicants from all artistic disciplines who have been subjected to, or are at risk of experiencing, human rights violations as a result of their artistic expression; or those who have used their art to foster greater awareness of particular human rights violations.
The appointment is for the fall semester of 2016 (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. If you have submitted a nomination, please encourage your nominee to complete their application by the deadline. 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 4, 2015.
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 For more information, you can access our webpage at; 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, 2016.
Thank you in advance for helping us identify deserving candidates for this award.
Walter Hatch
Associate Professor, Government
Director, Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights