Announcing our first OHMA research grant awards

We're excited to announce the recipients of our very first student research grant awards!

"El Abrazo" by Raul Ayala

"El Abrazo" by Raul Ayala

Fernanda Espinosa is doing a project on public memory in the Ecuador-New York migration experience. Her hope is to address the untold significance of a long history of migration and to create a space for recognition  of people’s experiences and memories through the use of artistic interventions. She will be using her OHMA research grant to support her travel expenses for the research portion taking place in Ecuador. 

Fernanda is an Andean immigrant based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Latin American Literature. Her work celebrates local knowledge systems, creates safe community spaces, and connects people through cultural organizing, immigrant community health, and language access. She has worked for different public health initiatives in New York City, as well as in translation and interpretation dedicated to social justice. 

Fernanda is a member of the People’s Climate Arts collective who were a recipient of the 2014 Rauschenberg Foundation Artists as Activists fund,  and co-founder of Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), an art and oral history collective recipient of The Laundromat Project’s 2015 Create Change commission arts award.

Jonathon Fairhead is doing an oral history of the Equal Education social movement in South Africa, important because of the huge gains the social movement has made in undoing the inequalities of apartheid education and also as an advocacy tool for others to study. He will be using the OHMA research grant to have interviews from his fieldwork in South Africa transcribed for archiving with the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives.

Jonathon is an oral historian working in the fields of education, human rights, activism and the arts. He holds an Ed.M in Peace Education from Teachers College Columbia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. Jonathon has served as an interviewer for the Atlantic Philanthropy Oral History Project prior to which he served as Secretary to the General Education Advisory Board at the Open Society Foundations. Currently a student in the Oral History Masters Program at Columbia, his thesis maps the individual narratives of the Equal Education social movement in South Africa. Equal Education is a movement of learners, activists and policy makers that seek to undo the inequalities in state provided education created by apartheid. 

Christina Pae is collecting and preserving the memories of Korean immigrants who were born in the 1930’s, capturing their experiences from Japanese occupation through the Korean War to life in the United States.  The project aims to bring new consciousness regarding the lives of this generation to the Korean-American community, emphasizing the need not to forget the past in favor of a fully assimilated future.  The OHMA grant will help defray the cost of the video equipment needed for numerous life history interviews.

Christina joins OHMA after almost twenty years as a corporate lawyer intermingled with several forays in the food industry. In her prior lives, she worked at some of the largest financial institutions in the world, a Michelin 3-star restaurant, and a cheese cave in Long Island City.  She received her A.B. in Russian Studies from Brown University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is particularly interested in stories about Koreans of her parents’ generation who emigrated after the Korean War.

More current student bios