The Myra Kraft Awards honor the memory of Myra Kraft, beloved wife of Columbia College trustee Robert Kraft. Myra Kraft devoted her professional career to philanthropic pursuits, touching lives across the world, from Boston to small towns in northern Russia to Israel to South America and beyond.
This prize is awarded annually to the Columbia College student majoring in human rights who has the highest grade point average and a superior record of academic achievement in Human Rights.
This cash prize is awarded to the Columbia College human rights student who submits the best proposal for a summer or term-time human rights internship, and is intended to be used to help defray the expenses of the internship. To apply, students should send this application form and supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Myra Kraft Prize no later than Friday, April 19th.
Hannah Hollandbyrd is a recent graduate of Columbia College, where she studied human rights and was a member of UndoCU, an organization for undocumented Columbia University students. She is from the border city of El Paso, Texas and is interested in drug policy, migration, and human rights on the US/Mexico border. She hopes to get a Master's Degree and work towards more humane drug and immigration policy in Mexico and the U.S. Currently, she is an events coordinator with the Beto for Texas Senate campaign.
As a recipient of the Kraft Prize, Hannah worked at Project PODER, a Mexico City-based organization that works on corporate accountability and human rights in Latin America. As an intern with Project PODER, she researched the renegotiation of NAFTA and assisted the transparency technology department.
Eliana Kanefield graduated from Columbia where she studied Hispanic Studies and Human Rights with a specialization in Ethnicity and Race Studies. While at Columbia, Eliana co-founded and edited Portales, an international undergraduate research journal with a focus on Latin American and Iberian cultures, co-developed a literacy and nutrition program through Community Impact Leadership Program, learned about corporate social responsibility and public service through the Kenneth Cole Community Action Program, and taught classes in local public schools on conflict-resolution and genocide.
She has pursued her interests in human rights, diplomacy, and policy implementation through internships with the Gender, Human Rights, and Culture branch of the UN Population Fund, Human Rights Foundation, Office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs, and Center for Democracy in the Americas. She is currently teaching in Argentina at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, as well as in rural communities, as a Fulbright Scholar.
Ella Every-Wortman graduated from Columbia University in 2016 where they majored in Human Rights with a focus on Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies and and minored in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While at Columbia, Ella pursued their interest in restorative justice with a two-year long independent research project entitled "'Not to Forget but to Live': Reimagining Justice and Sexual Violence at the University," a project which takes up transformative justice as an alternative to current punitive systems of justice. Centering intersectional feminist anti-violence theory and an anti-carceral lens, this work brings together justice literature with original focus group and interview research to ask given the complex ideological, material, and systemic investments that inform the dynamics of sexual violence on college campuses, what would transformative justice at Columbia University look like and how can we use it to deconstruct the boundaries of privilege and marginalization that are mutually constituted through interpersonal and systemic violence. Ella was a core organizer for Columbia Prison Divest, a successful student-led campaign to divest Columbia University's endowment from the private prison industry, and also served as a Peer Advocate for Sexual Violence Response (SVR).
I am a 2017 graduate of Columbia College with double majors in Human Rights and Political Science. My research interests include legal solutions to sustained racial discrimination and inequality in the United States post-slavery, as well as accountability and historical memory regarding the Armenian Genocide. While in college I worked as a site coordinator for Columbia's Project for the Homeless, which staffed two midtown homeless shelters, and tutored GED preparation to juvenile and adult inmates at Rikers Island and the Metropolitan Correctional Center. I also interned at the New York Attorney General's Office and the US. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where I am currently working as a paralegal. I received the Myra Kraft Prize for my internship at the San Francisco Superior Court, where I assisted a Brady-Pitchess commissioner in analyzing claims of police misconduct. This internship gave me valuable firsthand exposure to the legal system as well as helped me develop the skills to succeed in a "learn-by-doing" environment.