The Leopoldo López Freedom and Democracy Award honors an individual who has shown a commitment to plural and inclusive democracy echoing that of the award’s namesake, prominent Venezuelan opposition leader and political prisoner Leopoldo López ’93 H’07. In creating the award, López’s classmates, family and the Kenyon community at large ensure López’s commitment and bravery will not be forgotten, and they shine a light on the dangers of undermining the core principles of democracy. 

The award comes with a $10,000 honorarium. Learn about who is eligible.

The inaugural winner of the López Award was Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Watch the recording of Chen's acceptance speech and his discussion with Leopoldo López. 

In 2022, the award was bestowed upon Nicaraguans exiled or imprisoned by the ruling regime for their efforts to defend democracy. Watch the recording of Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Chamorro's acceptance speech and his discussion with Leopoldo López. 

Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng will join Leopoldo López ’93 in conversation about personal sacrifice for the public good.


A new public award named for Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López ’93 honors his commitment to plural and inclusive democracy.