2019 Summer Travel Grant Series: Humanity in Action Fellowship Program in Copehnagen

Summer Travel Grant 2019 Recipient
Hayley Cannizzo
Student Affiliate
MA in Second Language Studies

I would like to thank the EWCA Hawaii Chapter for supporting me with a summer travel grant. Thanks to your generosity, I was able to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship Program.

The fellowship seeks to bring together young leaders from around the world to examine and learn about human rights. The program does so by using a specific city as a case study for past and current human rights abuses. I was lucky enough to be sent to the city of Copenhagen. During my time there, I had the unique opportunity of working with fellows from around the world who were just as passionate about social justice as I am. Together, through lectures from journalists, politicians, artists and activists, city walks, workshops and site visits to locations such as the Danish institute for Human Rights and the Danish Ministry for Climate, Energy and Utilities, we learned about different social justice issues in Denmark. These issues, however, not only affect Denmark but also the U.S. and other countries and through dynamic discussions and debate, we were able to examine and explore the nuances of each problem. The fellowship gave us training and tools to address such issues in our own country and culminated in every fellow pitching an “Action Project”, or a project that works towards addressing social injustice in our own community.

What this fellowship does best is lift you out of your element so that you are no longer protected by the securities of what and who you think you are. It throws the chaos of the world at your feet, demands you pick it up, hold it in front of you and stare at it without looking away. It makes you question what you thought you knew and who you think you are. It completely disorients you and then, it brings you back home safely.

By being detached in this way – from what you think you know and are – I was able to gain a new and fresh perspective. It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. But it was worth the ups and downs to get to a place of new understanding about myself and others. And what is best, is that I was able to arrive there with my other fellows and now friends. I look forward to implementing what I learned into the EWC community and thank you deeply for making this experience possible for me.

With the utmost gratitude.