Nov. 18, 2019 Statement from the Director

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19, we join in solidarity with those standing up for justice and human rights on our campus.  In response to the leadership of our students, we look forward to the March for Solidarity, to begin on the Student Union Terrace, and the opportunity to hear the voices of those most affected by the issues of racism, patriarchy, and the climate crisis.  Following the March, we are honored to help convene the Dialogue on Race and Community, which we hope will model and foster ongoing dialogue about how race and racism have been experienced by members of our community, and what might be done to build an anti-racist culture of human rights here at UConn.

Just over a week ago, the University awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights to Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative.  Stevenson has been a champion of the human rights of the powerless and the scorned—prisoners condemned to execution, children sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, and others for whom our justice system is anything but just.  In accepting the Dodd Prize, he reminded us how inextricably connected this work is to our capacity to confront the historical truth and ongoing legacy of racism and white supremacy in this country. The recent incident at the Charter Oak Apartments is yet another reminder that the legacy of racism in the United States is not limited to the past or to a particular region.  It is a legacy and reality that any community committed to the values of human rights must address with honesty, humanity, courage and resolve. 

In Solidarity,

Glenn Mitoma
Director, Dodd Center

Jason Chang
Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Brendan Kane
Director, Democracy & Dialogues Initiative=

Kathy Libal
Director, Human Rights Institute

Samuel Martinez
Director, El Instituto

Avinoam Patt
Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Shawn Salvant
Interim Director, Africana Studies Institute

Sherry Zane
Director, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies