The Miller Human Rights Award will support graduate and undergraduate human rights students who seek to deepen their experience through study abroad or volunteer work. The placement should provide substantive and thoughtful engagement, through a human rights lens, with communities experiencing socio-economic inequities, forms of discrimination, or other types of institutional or societal marginalization. Applicants with placements in the Global South are especially encouraged to apply, although the nature of the work and its potential for addressing a significant need in a marginalized community is prioritized over a specific location/country. The Miller Award will support up to two undergraduate students per academic year.
Selected students will engage in an opportunity abroad to enhance their human rights education or professional experience. This could entail an internship, volunteer work, or study abroad (study abroad is for undergraduate students only). Human Rights Majors and Concentrators currently enrolled in Columbia College or the School of General Studies, and HRSMA students are eligible to apply. Award recipients will receive a stipend in the amount of $5,000, intended to defray the costs associated with pursuing an experience abroad. Semester and summer opportunities are eligible for funding. Fellowship recipients are expected to write a brief report, discussing their experience and its impact on their academic studies or expected career trajectory in human rights. Recipients are also invited to write a blog post for ISHR’s RightsViews blog.
Steve Miller is the Chief Financial Officer of Warby Parker and serves on the Board of Ubuntu Pathways. Steve graduated from Columbia College in 1995 with a degree in Political Science. While at Columbia, Steve spent time in Johannesburg, South Africa and helped raise over $500K in support of local communities. Steve’s volunteer experience had a lasting impact on his commitment to social justice initiatives and he remains actively engaged with civil society in the country.
To apply, please complete this application, and email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a priority admission date of December 1 for Spring term submissions and May 1 for Summer submissions. Alternatively, for general research or internship funding, students should review ISHR's graduate or undergraduate financial resources page.
Note: Disbursement of this award is contingent on compliance with Columbia University’s international travel policies and procedures.
Angel Gilbert is a rising second year student at Columbia University and an aspiring social justice lawyer, whose work helps her to not only make a difference in other people’s lives but also heal her own wounds. She mentors individuals experiencing drug addiction at Strides to Recovery, and advocates for struggling parents who committed crimes while under the influence at Witness to Mass Incarceration. Angel works alongside the executive director and the rest of the journalist team to publicize the experiences of those behind bars, writing not only about incarcerated individuals but also about the parents, children, or friends that they leave behind. Angel's work is informed by her experience being placed in an inhumane child welfare system as her mother served time, and witnessing first-hand a system quick to disrupt secure placements but slow to provide rehabilitative care. Angel is also building and leading an affinity group with the non-profit DemocraShe this summer, for foster children interested in politics. She is honored to be a Miller Award recipient.
Laura Giselle Romero is proud to be interning with the non-profit organization, The Brave House. Through her internship with The Brave House, Laura will be merging her passions of law and community advocacy, working as a youth advocate and paralegal intern. The mission of the Brave House is to support and uplift young immigrant women and gender-expansive youth, ages 16-24 who have been historically underserved and underrepresented, with a focus on individuals who are survivors of gender-based violence. The Brave House provides free legal support, community space, and holistic services, including mentorship, leadership training, one-on-one advocacy, wellness events, job and school assistance, support for new and expecting moms, and so much more. As a youth advocate and paralegal intern, Laura will be working one-on-one with her designated members and clients. At the Brave House, collaboration is key within the Brave House team so that we may continue to learn new ways to help members feel safe, heard, and supported.
Madison Watkins is a senior at the School of General Studies and a Human Rights major with a concentration on Education. Madison has been a student at Columbia since 2021 and transferred in from Harford County Community College in Maryland. Since being on campus she has learned invaluable skills in human rights applications and research. While being at Columbia, Madison has maintained full-time employment throughout each semester as an employee at Avenues NYC, a sober living facility in Chelsea, and a student worker at the Center for Career Education on campus. She has also been able to give back to the community by being the Vice President of the Recovery Coalition, a club that provides students with safe spaces to gain community while going through the stressors of life on campus and more. Madison is beyond grateful to not only be a student at Columbia but to have been given this award. Her internship at the Department of Child Protection and Permanency has given her first-hand experience of understanding the purpose of protecting children’s basic human rights as well as applying the knowledge she has learned at Columbia. Madison is proud to be a 2023 recipient of the Miller Award.
Annamaria Belevitch is a junior at Columbia College studying Political Science (with a specialization in International Relations) and History. This summer she is honored to be a recipient of the Miller Human Rights Prize, in order to work with the Global Scholars Program and K=1 Project at Columbia University's Center for Nuclear Studies on the legacy of French nuclear testing in French Polynesia. Annamaria is specifically studying the development of radiation-induced cancers and how nuclear testing, environmental justice, and Indigenous rights are approached within international human rights law. With Dominican and Russian roots, originally from Port Charlotte, Florida, Annamaria is incredibly passionate about the intersection between human rights, international law, and politics.
Clara Harrington is a Human Rights Major in the General Studies and SciencesPo Dual Program at Columbia University. Clara's interest in humanitarian work began in 2019 when she volunteered on the UK-France border in Calais, France working with refugee and migrant communities. She returned to live in Calais from 2020-2021. As a recipient of the Miller Prize in summer 2022, Clara will continue to participate in advocacy efforts and daily dry food distribution to 1,500 displaced persons for the Calais Food Collective, a grassroots, flat hierarchy organization in Northern France, set up for emergency response to the pandemic. Since beginning her studies at Columbia, Clara has engaged in the field of human rights with a primary focus on advocacy for refugees and migrants' rights. While at SciencesPo, Clara studied Political Humanities with a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialization. She is currently entering her fourth and final year of the program where she is majoring in Human Rights.