CT Human Rights and Youth Action Summit







Sponsored by the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Human Rights and Youth Action Summit (CHRYAS) offers high school students the opportunity to

  • explore critical human rights issues in their communities and around the world,

  • engage with a diverse range of peers from across the state,

  • and develop the values and skills necessary to take action in support of human rights for all.



Each year, the CHRYAS Steering Committee designates an annual theme which provides a broad framework for summit participants (e.g. “the Right to Education”).  During the fall semester, students learn core human rights content and explore the annual theme in their classrooms.  Students may also choose to pursue Research Projects examining specific examples of the theme. The Dodd Center offers research and mentoring support, and students are encouraged to collaborate with classmates as well as with students in other participating schools.

On or near International Human Rights Day (December 10), students and educators convene on the UConn Storrs campus to share and discuss their Research Projects, develop new skills and strategies for taking informed action in support of human rights, and learn from each other and from leading scholars and practitioners in the field of human rights.  Student presenters are organized into panels and receive feedback from UConn students and faculty.  Participants in the December Summit also engage in collaborative design work to plan Action Projects addressing the annual theme in their communities.

Following the December Summit, students continue organizing and begin implementing their Action Projects, often in collaboration with peers.  In March, participants re-convene in Storrs for the March Summit, to share experiences, successes, and challenges in pursing their Action Projects, and to learn new skills and strategies for pursuing social change in their communities.


Interested teachers should contact Steering Committee Co-Chairs Jake Skrzypiec (jskrzy@mpspride.org) or Abby Esposito (abigail_esposito@whps.org), or Dodd Center Director Glenn Mitoma (glenn.mitoma@uconn.edu) for additional information.   Students may participate in either December or March Summits, or both.  Space is limited, so schools are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.


There is no fee to participate in the CHRYAS.  Schools, however, are expected to provide transportation to and from UConn for the summits, and to provide necessary facilities and materials for students to pursue Research and Action Projects.  A limited number of grants are available from the Dodd Center to help support participation by a diverse range of schools and students.


Check out this year’s theme: THE RIGHT TO IDENTITY