1.20.17 The People’s Inauguration

Crowd at Inauguration

Friday, January 20, 2016
10:30am – 1:30pm

Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

On Friday, January 20th come join the members of the UConn community as we stand up for the values of human rights, justice, and solidarity.  Together, we will mark the inauguration of the next chapter in American history by embodying the kind of community we aspire to be–inclusive, indivisible, equitable, and democratic–and share the words, poems, thoughts, performances, and insights that will sustain us as we work together.



How It Works:

Choose your reading
(5 minute max)


Sign up for a time now


Sign up at the event


Come to listen, share, and reflect

Our Goal:

To provide a space and time on Inauguration Day for members of the UConn Community to come together, listen to each other, and reflect on the values that make our University ours.

Students, faculty, staff and anyone who considers themselves a part of the UConn community are invited to attend and share a short reading (maybe an excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), poem (maybe Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again), performance (maybe something like this piece), or story (maybe your story).

Just keep it short (no more than 5 minutes) and affirming on this day of new beginnings.




What’s in a Name? Rethinking Quinnehtukqut

A Dialogue on Indigenous Rights and the Politics of (Re)Naming Places, Holidays, and Mascots

Monday, December 19, 2016
1:15pm – 3:00pm
Laurel Hall 202

1625 Map of Connecticut

How do the names of the places where we live affect our understanding of ourselves and each other?  What does it mean to erase or appropriate Indigenous names and traditions?  What do our holidays and mascots say about what and who we value? Come participate in a critical dialogue about these contested battles over historical naming practices and contemporary efforts at renaming. Some examples include the alteration of Quinnehtukqut to Connecticut, the “United Colonies” to the United States of America, Columbus Day to Indigenous Day, and the renaming and replacing of school mascots.

Part of UConn’s Humility and Conviction in Public Life project, this “Small Talk” is organized as part of the Connecticut Human Rights and Youth Action Summit. Focus will be on furthering dialogue by offering a space where CT high school students, teachers, and members of the UConn community can come together to discuss, challenge and question their own positions on these often divisive issues. By encouraging informed and informal conversations on some of today’s most provocative questions, “Small Talks” aims to strengthen our capacities to know each other and ourselves and practice the skills of intellectually humble and respectful dialogue.


Sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute

2016 CT Human Rights and Youth Action Summit

Image taken from UConn Archives & Special Collections
Image taken from UConn Archives & Special Collections

Join us Monday, December 18th from 8am – 3pm for the first Connecticut Human Rights in Action Youth Summit

Our first (of many!) Connecticut Human Rights in Action Youth Summit will be held on December 18th! During this summit we will confirm our commitment as a community to uphold the rights of every human being, educate ourselves and others as to the crucial issues we face today, and move toward active, participatory, and sustainable change.

You can learn more about summit information including, the summit outline, objectives, schedule, and student project information here.


2017 Dodd Prize Nominations – Now through Dec. 15th

Nominations for the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights have been extended to December 15th, 2016. The Prize is awarded biennially by the University of Connecticut and is presented to an individual or group who has made a significant effort to advance the cause of international justice and global human rights. The Dodd Prize will be awarded during the Fall of 2017 at the University of Connecticut. Recipients are honored at an awards ceremony and make a public presentation to the university community and members of the general public.

You can learn more about nominations and the Dodd Prize here.

11.15.16 Human Rights Films Series: The Clay Bird

2016-2017 Human Rights Film Series
The Cinema of Social Justice: The Films of Tareque and Catherine Masud

(Matir Moina)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Konover Auditorium

Dodd Center

University of Connecticut727c499f-afd6-41cd-a84a-5ad098691e58

Featuring a post-show discussion on
divided identity and representations of Islam

with UConn students
Farzana Zubair
Rubayet Lasker

moderated by
Catherine Masud

Public Reception to Follow

Free Admission

Sponsored by
the Human Rights Institute
the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut
the Asian and Asian American Cultural Center
the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

11.10.16 Children’s Literature and Human Rights



Join us for the presentation of

the 2016 Raab Associates Prize

and a discussion of

Human Rights, Children’s Literature,
and the Art of Youth Activism


Prof. Jonathan Todres

Author of Human Rights in Children’s Liteature: Imagination and the Narrative of Law (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Pegi Deitz Shea

Author of numerous books for young people including Abe in Arms (PM Press, 2010) and The Carpet Boy’s Gift (Tilbury House, 2003)

Reven Smith

Spoken word poet, musician, writer, social activist, and UConn student

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium

Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Public Reception to Follow


The Raab Associates Prize has been given since 1999 to give University of Connecticut students the opportunity to learn about illustrating for children and the children’s literature field. The competition was created and sponsored by Susan Salzman Raab, founder and co-owner of Raab Associates, a children’s book marketing agency based in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. This year, for the first time, the prize has focused on human rights, and specifically children’s rights, and represents a joint effort between UConn’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the School of Fine Arts.  Ms. Raab, who is also a 1980 UConn alumna with a degree in English, especially wants to encourage and support people who have interests in the arts and in human rights. The competition is held annually and the prize is awarded to students enrolled in the University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts’ illustration courses.

If you are an individual who requires an accommodation to participate or have questions, please contact the Dodd Center.

11.2.15 Native Solidarity, Indigenous Rights, and Social Justice

Mashantucket Pequot Delegation at Standing Rock



3:30PM – Public Reception

4:00PM – Panel Discussion with Q&A

Asian American Cultural Center
Student Union
University of Connecticut

Featuring members of
the Mashantucket Pequot Museum Delegation to Standing Rock including


Tahnee Growingthunder

Museum Educator

Jason Mancini

Executive Director

Chris Newell

Education Supervisor

Nakai Northup

Museum Educator

Cliff Sebastian

Marketing & Development Associate

endawnis Spears

Group Coordinator

If water is life, the protectors at the encampment at Standing Rock, North Dakota are there to protect all living things; not just the indigenous life ways of native people. Recently a contingency of Mashantucket Pequot tribal members and museum representatives have returned from their travels to Standing Rock. They will be sharing their experiences, answering questions, and discussing ways that all people can work to support the efforts of protectors now, for our shared future together.

Co-sponsored by

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion

10.28.16 Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art

raceandrevolutiontitlean afternoon with

Kathryn Fuller


Jess X. Chen

Friday, October 28, 2016

Session 1: Using Art to Access Historical Memory

with Katie Fuller

12:00PM – 1:30PM
Dodd 162


Join Katie Fuller, curator of the Race & Revolution art exhibit currently on display at UConn Stamford, for a interactive workshop that engages the them of racism in the American Revolution through the lens of artistic response.

Session 2: The Time Travel of Migration

with Jess X. Chen

2:00PM – 3:30PM
Asian American Cultural Center
Student Union

Join award-winning artist Jess X. Chen for this workshop designed for migrant youth, or communities of color with diasporic backgrounds to use collective, large scale art making, map making, and poetry as a means of honoring the distances traveled and ancestors lost in the process of migration while celebrating the resilience of our own bodies and families that survive and continue to survive the journey.

4.26.16 – In My Shoes Performance

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April 26, 2016

Student Union Theater
UConn Storrs Campus

Free Admission


The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the UConn Reads Steering Committee are proud to present this performance of In My Shoes, by the Judy Dworkin Performance Project.

Bringing the authentic voices and real-life experiences of women from prison to the stage, this spirited, soul-searching performance piece asks, “What would it be like to be in my shoes?” With startling clarity and compassion, In My Shoes examines choices and twists of fate that lead to incarceration. It also tells of perseverance and hope, atonement and redemption found in walks during “time in;” the pathways out of prison; and what it means to be truly free.

In My Shoes PerformanceIn My Shoes integrates movement, spoken word and song and is performed with warmth and wit by six women who have reentered Connecticut communities from York Correctional Institution. Two are members of Women on Our Own, a singing-spoken word group that electrified audiences at the 2013 Hartford appearance of Piper Kerman (author of “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” inspiration of the popular Netflix series) and have continued to do so since. All of these women are sojourners towards new, rewarding lives. They are joined by the Ensemble of the Judy Dworin Performance Project, which has won multiple awards in its 25 year history.

A post-performance talk led by Dworin with the performers will invite audience questions and discussion of criminal and social justice, strengths-based intervention programs in prisons and the community, and the role of the arts as agents of change.

Dworin’s dance-theater works are known for compelling social commentary and warm humanism. Cutting across boundaries of gender, geography, and governmental decree, she testifies for those whose voices have been stilled or muted by history and social injustice. While presenting challenging and difficult questions, her dance-theater works convey inspiring stories of perseverance, transcendence, and hope. As one audience member commented after seeing In My Shoes, “Art and social justice are powerful allies and this is as good an example as I have ever seen.”