A Message from the Director, Oct. 29, 2018

A message from the Directors of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

We are deeply saddened by the murder of eleven congregants at the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and we condemn the antisemitism, racism, and hatred of refugees and migrants that motivated this and similar acts of terror.We are appalled and outraged by the recent surge of politically motivated violence aimed at prominent critics of President Donald Trump.  As scholars of human rights and directors of programs with ties to some of the individuals and communities under attack, we express our solidarity with those targeted and our commitment to building a more just, equitable, inclusive, and peaceful society.

These acts of violence are the responsibility of the individuals who conceived, planned, and perpetrated these murders and attempted murders.  In the days and weeks to come, we will undoubtedly learn more about the unfolding of the attacks on the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue and on George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and others.  We recognize, however, that, like last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the more recent shootings at a grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, these events occur in the context of a pervasive environment of incendiary and hateful rhetoric.  Such rhetoric has often been amplified by, and sometimes originated with, the President, who has openly and proudly declared himself and those around him nationalist. We call on these leaders to reject unequivocally the path of political demonization and racial demagoguery and to join with others in building a shared culture of mutual respect and dignity.

If we want  such a call to  be heeded, we need substantive pressure from our elected officials and the broader society.

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center see it as part of their mission to understand the nature and impact of antisemitism, racism, hatred of migrants and refugees, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry; to educate for tolerance and mutual respect; and to foster a more inclusive democratic culture here at UConn and beyond.  We will also work with our partners on campus and in communities to support and defend those targeted with hateful rhetoric or deeds, like our prominent partner George Soros, welcoming communities like the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), or our weary neighbors walking toward the southern border.

On Wednesday, November 7, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, with a lecture by Dr. Tom W. Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago on “Antisemitism in Contemporary America.”  Next semester, on April 4-5, the Human Rights Institute will convene a conference in partnership with the Open Society Foundations on “Human Rights and the Politics of Solidarity”.  We invite you to join us in this and other work, and express our steadfast solidarity with all our partners, friends, and neighbors as we struggle toward a more just future.

Glenn Mitoma
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Sebastian Wogenstein
Interim Director
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Stuart Miller
Academic Director
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Kathy Libal
Human Rights Institute

Molly Land
Associate Director
Human Rights Institute

Nov. 12: War, Memories, and Museums

War, Memory, and Museums
Insights from Mofidul Hoque
Founder Trustee, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh

Monday, November 12, 2018
12:00 – 2:00 PM

Humanities Institute, Conference Room, 4th floor, Homer Babbidge Library

Mofidul Hoque, author and cultural activist, has written 15 books on history, liberation studies, arts, and genocide studies. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, and is a recipient of the Bangla Academy Literary Prize and the national award Ekushey Padak. In 1996 he along with seven other Trustees established the Liberation War Museum, a private museum that became a people’s institution. Along with memorialization work, the museum also aims to uphold truth and justice.

Co-Sponsors: UConn Humanities Institute; The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center; Human Rights Institute; HRI Research Program on Humanitarianism; India Studies


War, Memory and Museums Flyer

Nov. 7, 2018 – Antisemitism in Contemporary America

Tom W. Smith
“Antisemitism in Contemporary America”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Konover Auditorium

Reception to Follow

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life presents this lecture in remembrance of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when the Nazis orchestrated a pogrom during which German Jews were humiliated, beaten, and murdered and Jewish homes, businesses, hospitals, synagogues, and schools were looted and destroyed.

For more information and to RSVP visit: https://judaicstudies.uconn.edu/2018/08/30/kristallnacht2018/

Nov. 1, 2018 – Winona LaDuke

Native American Heritage Month

Keynote speaker:

Winona LaDuke

Acknowledging Indigenous Land

Thursday, November 1, 2018
5:30pm – 6:30pm

Werth Tower Forum

Winona LaDuke Lecture Poster


Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist and author working on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. LaDuke is a two time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. Her work is primarily in the area of Indigenous Economics, Food and Energy Policy. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. Come listen to Winona speak on the importance of acknowledging indigenous land.

For more information, contact the Native American Cultural Programs at student5718@ad.uconn.edu.

Sept. 24: Teacher Workshop on Service Learning for Human Rights

Principles and Practices of Taking Action

Tuesday, September 24, 2018
9:00am – 2:30pm

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

On Tuesday, September 25th UConn Early College Experience and the UConn Human Rights and Educational Leadership departments invite all certified UConn ECE EDLR and HRTS instructors to attend the annual professional development training.

Purpose: ECE certified instructors for EDLR1162 and HRTS1007 will engage in a day-long professional development (PD) opportunity that will provide exposure to service-learning, community partnerships, and civic engagement through a human rights lens. Participation in this PD opportunity will count toward the ECE requirement for PD for its instructors.

Throughout the day ECE instructors will be encouraged to think critically about how and why we take action, as well as the consider implications for the multiple stakeholders involved when action is taken. For the purpose of this workshop, “taking action” will most often be defined by engaging in direct service.

Objectives: Participants of this professional development will

  • Compare perspectives of various stakeholders engaged in service-learning opportunities
  • Demonstrate understanding of the tenants of service-learning as pedagogical approaches to instruction, and its relationship to human rights education
  • Apply service-learning framework to the context of their own high schools and community
  • Design service-learning opportunity that is reflective of service-learning framework, as well as human rights education principles and practicess


Nov. 12, 2018: Children’s Literature and Human Rights Workshop

We Are All Born Free Cover

Interested in using children’s literature to teach human rights in your classroom? 


Join us on Monday, November 12, 2018 at the Middletown Library Service Center for a day-long professional development workshop entitled:

Starting Conversations
Using Children’s Literature to Teach Human Rights

The workshop is free and open to all Connecticut educators.


Welcome, André Keet!

Andre Keet PortraitThe Dodd Center is delighted to welcome the Human Rights Institute’s 2018 Gladstein Visiting Professor of Human Rights,  André Keet.

André worked in national human rights institutions in post 1994 South Africa before joining the University of Fort Hare in October 2008. He also spent time at the University of the Free State as Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, advisor to the university president and as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and External Relations. He is an acknowledged social justice researcher, higher education transformation practitioner and academic citizen. André is presently the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, the Chairperson of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation in South African Public Universities, Member of the Council on Higher Education, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University in the UK.

Gladstein Lecture Fllyer


On Exhibit: Hello, Dear Enemy!

Hello Dear Enemy Catalog Cover

Hello, Dear Enemy!

Picture Books for Peace and Humanity

Aug. 27 – Nov. 16, 2018

The Dodd Center is proud to host the exhibit, “Hello, Dear Enemy,” on loan from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.  The books included in this exhibit present stories from around the world of characters grappling with the traumas of war and displacement, violence and oppression, and envision a world of peace and justice.

Stop by the Dodd Center before Nov. 16 to check out the posters and read the books.

Check out the Helllo Dear Enemy Catalog.

Sept. 7, 2018: Meredith Stern on Art and Activism

10:00am: Artist Talk with Meredith Stern

"Cultural Collaboration: Historical & Contemporary Examples of Radical Visual Art"
An Artist Talk with Meredith Stern
Friday, Sept. 7, 2018

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center

The talk will start with a slideshow of work by socially engaged artists, collectives, and cooperatives (historical and contemporary). Then she will talk about her work as a member of the Justseeds Artsits' Cooperative. Finally she will introduce her current work, a series of prints on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She will talk about human rights issues in the United States and how to address these issues in visual artwork with an intersectional perspective.

Q and A to follow.


Meredith Stern

11:15am: Documenting Dissent: Exploring Art Collaboration with Social Justice Movements

"Documenting Dissent: Exploring Art Collaboration with Social Justice Movements"
An exploration of posters, zines, and print publications in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center with Meredith Stern
Friday, Sept. 7, 2018

Dodd Center

We will look at work in the collection in the Research Center. We will consider some of the ways in which individuals create independent work, collaborate with organizations, and collaborate with other artists to visualize social justice. We will discuss questions artists and activists can use to create their own work. Such questions include: who is our audience, what form of language or culture may be most useful for communicating our message, and what is the relationship of text and image in visual communication.


Stern Stand Up Article 9

1:00pm: Poster and Sign Making for #StandUp4HumanRightsCT Rally

Poster and Sign Making for #StandUp4HumanRightsCT Rally with Meredith Stern
Friday, Sept. 7, 2018

Printmaking Studio
Bishop Center

Join us as we create original posters and signs dedicated to human rights and social justice.  Master printer and member of the Justseeds Artists' Collaborative Meredith Stern will guide us as we prepare for the #StandUp4HumanRightsCT Rally at the Capitol Building in Hartford on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 1:00pm.  Drop in to the printmaking studio in Bishop Center between 1pm - 4pm.  No print experience required!

For more info on the #StandUp4HumanRightsCT Rally, visit the website here.

Stern Stand Up Article 20

Call for Submissions: Picture Human Rights Poster Contest

Calling All Artist!

Poster Contest Image

Poster Contest

The Dodd Center is co-sponsoring the “Picture Human Rights” Poster Contest, organized by the HRE-USA network, to celebrate the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Artists from ages 5 to 21 are invited to participate by creating a poster based on the UDHR.

First Place winners will receive a $300 cash prize.

ENTRY DEADLINE: OCTOBER 24, 2018 (United Nations Day)

Learn more and enter

Supported by:

Amnesty InternationalTeaching Tolerance