Sreya Pinnamaneni CC’20 and Myrna Santos CC’20 have been awarded Humanity in Action fellowships for Summer 2019.
Humanity in Action Fellowships bring together college students and recent graduates from around the world to explore different national histories of discrimination and resistance to injustice, as well as contemporary issues affecting minority groups across several European cities. Pinnamaneni, a History and American Studies double major, will be heading to Copenhagen, and Santos, a Human Rights major, will complete the five-week program in Atlanta, Georgia.
Myrna grew up in an immigrant household in Las Vegas, Nevada and has previously interned at the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NRJC), co-chairing its Inaugural Immigration Summit, as well as being co-chair for Columbia Mentorship Initiative’s Latinx Family Tree. ‘The theme for this year is “Grassroots Solidarities: Interrogating the Past and Navigating the Present to Prepare for the Future”,’ said Santos, a first generation American and volunteer at the Double Discovery Center. “I am excited to explore this year’s topic with my cohort and hope to bring back a deepened understanding of my own prejudices, practical knowledge in the field of advocacy, and to advance positive social change through alliance building and coalition organizing.”
Sreya, originally from Orlando, FL, hopes to engage in a broader global discourse on social inclusion and exclusion in Copenhagen. “In today’s abrasive political climate, it is vital to restore and revitalize faith in democratic societies—whether that be through minority rights campaigns, immigration reform, racial and gender justice, and so on,” said the the President of Youth for Debate and Online Executive Editor for the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review. Having previously interned at the Vera Institute of Justice, Sreya was a Cold War Archives Research Fellow through Columbia’s European Institute and has also interned at the Knight First Amendment Institute, the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society, and the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Each Humanity in Action fellowship program is interdisciplinary and features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians, and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, museums, and memorials. Recipients were ultimately selected for their high academic standing, active participation in human rights issues, and outstanding letters of recommendation.