Front Line Fund

Lantos Foundation Front Line Fund grant recipient honored at International Film Festival on Women, Social Issues, and Zero Discrimination

"Author, researcher, social activist & filmmaker Dr Shahida Akhter has been given the Platinum Award as the Best Director at the Award Ceremony of the International Film Festival on Women, Social Issues and Zero Discrimination 2016 for her documentary film 'Fight Acid Violence' held at the Indonesian capital Jakarta on 7th March." Read more

Lantos Foundation Awards Grant to a One Woman Crusader

Retired Teacher Erases Over 90,000 Displays of Anti-Semitic Graffiti

The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice is pleased to announce that a Front Line Grant has been awarded to 68-year old Irmela Menshah Schramm, a one-woman crusader who has single-handedly fought neo-Nazi hate by documenting and then removing anti-Semitic graffiti, stickers, and posters from the streets of Berlin and greater Germany for over 25 years.

Schramm’s tools are a white bag, camera, paint brushes, paint solvents, and a can of black spray paint. Each morning since 1985, she has made it her mission to find, scratch off, erase, or cover up these hate-filled messages. Schramm pays for her ‘tools’ out of her own money.

The Front Line Fund grant will be used to help Ms. Menshah Schramm offset expenses in her continuing work to remove anti-Semitic graffiti in an effort to eliminate this hatred and promote tolerance in her community.

The work that Ms. Menshah Schramm undertakes often puts her in great personal danger; death threats and brutal beatings are popular scare tactics used by the extremist movements she faces. Despite the probability of violent attacks, her own medical complications, and the general indifference of her society, Ms. Menshah Schramm devotes every day of her life to the cause of combating this poison.

The recent resurgence of anti-Semitic crime and hate-speech is of particular concern to the Lantos Foundation. “Citizens like Irmela Schramm, who actively work to combat hatred and bigotry wherever they come across it are an invaluable force in working to create societies built upon mutual respect and acceptance. The Lantos Foundation is very pleased to offer a Front Line Grant to support the work and mission of Ms. Menshah Schramm,” said Foundation President Katrina Lantos Swett.

Dr. Yang Jianli, Recipient of Lantos Foundation Front Line Fund Grant, Receives Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award

The Lantos Foundation congratulates UN Watch for its decision to honor Dr. Yang Jianli with theMorris B. Abram Human Rights Award. “We applaud UN Watch for choosing Dr. Yang, a man of extraordinary integrity and intelligence, to be this year’s recipient of the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award,” said Lantos Foundation President Katrina Lantos Swett. "Jianli is a courageous human rights defender who has risked his life and eloquently raises his voice for human rights and justice for his country and the people of China. Dr. Yang represents the very finest of those Chinese patriots who are working for a China in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected, not trampled upon. The Lantos Foundation is proud to have supported Jianli’s work through our Front Line Fund, and we are confident this most recent honor will help to further his important work.”

"Tonight, I respectfully ask each of you, in your mind’s eye, to look across the bridge created by Morris Abram between the world struggles against the horrors of the Holocaust and against today’s assault on human rights.  Look over that bridge spanning more than seven decades. Look across to the victims of the Holocaust, to the 65 million victims of WWII..."

Click here for more from Dr. Yang's memorable acceptance speech.

Lantos Foundation Applauds Release of Popular Cameroonian Singer

April 8, 2011- The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice is pleased to learn of the early release of popular Cameroonian singer songwriter Lapiro de Mbanga, who had been held as a political prisoner in Cameroon for nearly three years.  Mbanga, who was scheduled to be released tomorrow, was released earlier today.

The 52-year old performer is known for his satirical lyrics, which criticize corrupt politicians and address social and economic injustice in Cameroon. It is believed Mr. Mbanga’s arrest was prompted by “Constipated Constitution”, a song he says he wrote to explain Cameroon’s troubles, in which he calls his country “a paradise for corruption”.

With the help of a Front-Line Fund grant from the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and other human rights organizations, Lapiro was able to travel last month to the capital city of Yaounde and appear before the Cameroon Supreme Court. Though his appeal of the charges against him was denied, the court did set an April 9, 2011 release date. It is unknown why Mbanga was released a day early.

Although Lapiro de Mbanga is little known in the United States, his voice has echoed loud and clear in his native Cameroon as one who is unafraid to challenge corruption and injustice,” said Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. “We are thrilled to learn of this early release and are gratified to have been able to support his stand on behalf of human rights in his country.”

The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice established the Front-Line Fund grant program to advance the cause of human rights in American foreign policy and to be a vital voice standing up for the nation’s most important values of decency, dignity, freedom and justice throughout the world.