Shayna Lewis

All Disciplines Award, Columbia University - Human Rights Studies

As a daughter of the Windrush generation, Shayna’s parents and grandparents instilled in her the importance of working against the constraints of society to build a better future for those to come. This vision has guided Shayna to her career in human rights. Shayna’s research in the field of transitional justice aims to reposition survivors of human rights atrocities at the centre of accountability processes to ensure that transitional justice responses serve the needs of affected communities. Shayna aims to spend her career working to increase accountability for human rights atrocities from the ground up, helping survivors overcome the injustices they have faced to build a more just future. Since graduating from Exeter University in 2020, she has worked for Human Rights Watch in Geneva, monitoring and speaking at the UN Human Rights Council. In January 2021, Shayna relocated to Asia to research and conduct advocacy on the intersecting impacts of conflict, COVID-19, and climate change in Myanmar. Prior to her international advocacy work, Shayna volunteered with women’s empowerment charities to tackle domestic abuse and help women leaving the criminal justice system to find work. She also contributed to her diaspora through her work with the Jamaican High Commission.