March 1, 2018: Zhao Bin Exhibit Reception

3:00pm – 5:00pmZhao Bin Painting
Dodd Center Lobby

Join us for this reception for the current exhibit

Zhao Bin: Paintings in Transition

Zhao Bin (b. 1969), winner of the 2006 Laura and Lorenz Reibling Award of the Foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, has exhibited broadly in Germany and China.  His works synthesize Chinese bodies of thought with western techniques of oil painting.  The result is a playful, yet unnerving commentary on contemporary Chinese life.

 

This exhibit is hosted at the Dodd Center courtesy of the Laura and Lorenz Reibling, who have generously loaned the paintings from their private collection.

 

 

 

2.22.18 A. Kayum Ahmed: Confronting White Supremacy on Campus

Confronting White Supremacy on Campus: Epistemic Disobedience, Free Speech, and Protest

A. Kayum Ahmed

Thursday, February 22, 2018
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center

Confronting White Supremacy on Campus Flyer

 

 

As one of the students who faced disciplinary action at Columbia University for "interrupting/disrupting" white supremacist speakers on campus, A. Kayum Ahmed reflects on his experiences and offers some insights on the question of free speech. Employing Mignolo's framework of 'epistemic disobedience' he contests Columbia University's characterization of free speech as an American value, arguing that it obfuscates deeper underlying concerns about power and violence. Notions of free speech have become a proxy for upholding racism, patriarchy, and oppression, and can be conceived as a mechanism for perpetuating violence—both structural and epistemic—by those in power and by those who control the First Amendment narrative.

A. Kayum Ahmed

Co-sponsored by

The Human Rights Institute &

The Initiative on Campus Dialogues

A. Kayum Ahmed is a Doctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University and an Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia Law School. Prior to joining Columbia University as a student and faculty member, Ahmed served as Chief Executive Officer of the South African Human Rights Commission from 2010 to 2015. During his term at the Commission, Ahmed led a team of 178 colleagues to monitor, protect and promote human rights in South Africa, and oversaw the management of nearly 45,000 human rights cases. Following his involvement in anti white supremacist protests at Columbia University, Ahmed was placed on a right wing "Professor Watchlist" whose mission is "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom."

2.22.18 A. Kayum Ahmed: The Rise of #Fallism

The Rise of #Fallism: Decolonization, Human Rights and Black Pain

A. Kayum Ahmed

Thursday, February 22, 2018
12:30pm - 2:00pm

Humanities Institute Seminar Room
4th Floor, Homer Babbidge Library

 

Fees Must Fall

When students from the #RhodesMustFall (#RMF) movement threw feces against a statue of British imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes, located at the University of Cape Town (UCT), it ignited student protests not only across South African universities in 2015, but also at the University of Oxford in the U.K. The #RMF movement sought to decolonize education by de-linking from the dominant model of Euro-American knowledge, employing disruptive tactics inspired by decolonial theories such as pan-Africanism, black consciousness and black radical feminism. This process of de-linking appears to have generated an emergent theory of “Fallism” following the fall of the Rhodes statue. Students argue that Fallism can be characterized as a form of public pedagogy that seeks to disrupt existing knowledge structures through radical, performative protest while simultaneously offering creative ways of generating knowledge. At the same time, #RMF rejects human rights discourses despite its entrenchment in South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution raising questions about whether the "human" in human rights incorporates the black body.

A. Kayum Ahmed

Co-sponsored by

The Human Rights Institute &

The Initiative on Campus Dialogues

A. Kayum Ahmed is a Doctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University and an Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia Law School. Prior to joining Columbia University as a student and faculty member, Ahmed served as Chief Executive Officer of the South African Human Rights Commission from 2010 to 2015. During his term at the Commission, Ahmed led a team of 178 colleagues to monitor, protect and promote human rights in South Africa, and oversaw the management of nearly 45,000 human rights cases. Following his involvement in anti white supremacist protests at Columbia University, Ahmed was placed on a right wing "Professor Watchlist" whose mission is "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom."

3.6.18 Malka Penn Award Ceremony: Suzanne Del Rizzo

Please join us as we present the inaugural

Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature

to

Suzanne Del Rizzo

for

My Beautiful Birds Cover

 

Featuring remarks by the Rev. Ann Plumley

Co-Leader of the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement Project

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Reception to Follow

 

Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
University of Connecticut

Using simple, poetic language and stunning illustrations created from polymer clay and acrylic paints, the Suzanne Del Rizzo tells the story of a young Syrian boy, Sami, fleeing war with his family.

As Sami struggles with the loss of his home and pet birds, he slowly adjusts to a new life in a refugee camp. Eventually he finds hope in a trio of wild birds, as well as by expressing his feelings through art, and by reaching out to help another refugee child.

About the Author

Suzanne Del Rizzo has always loved getting her hands messy. She traded her job in scientific research for a career in children’s books, creating dimensional illustrations with polymer clay, acrylic paint, and other media. Picture books Suzanne has illustrated include: Skink on the Brink, by Lisa Dalrymple (Fitzhenry &Whiteside, 2013), Gerbil Uncurled, by Alison Hughes (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2015), Sky Pig, by Jan Coates (Pajama Press 2016), and soon to be released Sun Dog, by Deborah Kerbel (Pajama Press, 2018). In 2015, looking for resources to explain the Syrian Civil War to her own children, Suzanne came across the article of a boy who took solace in a connection with wild birds at the Za’atari refugee camp. Struck by the universality of a child’s relationship to animals, she began writing My Beautiful Birds, her debut as author-illustrator. In 2017 My Beautiful Birds was a New York Times Notable Children’s Books selection, a Junior Library Guild selection, and the 2017 One Book, One San Diego for Kids selection. It also won the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature and was an honorable mention for the Middle-East Book Award. She lives in Oakville Ontario with her husband and 4 children.

 

 

 

Suzanne Del Rizzo

 

 

About the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement Project

QCRR (Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement) is a co-sponsorship partner of IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) responding to the urgent world-wide refugee crisis. QCRR is leading the effort to resettle refugee families in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut through a broad, interfaith team and a strong partnership with WAIM (Windham Area Interfaith Ministries). It is the intent of the QCRR to resettle multiple refugees families in our community over time.

QCRR is led by a volunteer Core Team from various faith communities and walks of life. Though physically based at The First Church of Christ, Congregational, in Mansfield Center, QCRR enjoys the active support of nearly 40 faith communities and over 300 Quiet Corner residents. We invite individuals of good will and community groups of all sorts to join us in this collaborative effort. You can join the email list or obtain more information by emailing qcrr.411@gmail.com.

Malka Penn Award Logo Color

The Malka Penn Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding children’s book addressing human rights issues or themes, such as discrimination, equity, poverty, justice, war, peace, slavery or freedom.  Within these larger themes, the award committee is particularly eager to recognize stories about individuals – real or fictional, children or adults – who have been affected by social injustices, and who, by confronting them, have made a difference in their lives or the lives of others.

The award is named in honor of author Michele Palmer, whose generous gift helped to establish the award.  Ms. Palmer has written over a dozen books for children and adults, including three children’s books under the pseudonym Malka Penn (The Miracle of the Potato Latkes, The Hanukkah Ghosts, and Ghosts and Golems).  Ms. Palmer has also curated numerous art, book, and history exhibits at UConn and elsewhere. One of her exhibits at the Dodd Center – “After Anne Frank: Children’s Books About the Holocaust” – led to her establishing the Malka Penn Collection of Children’s Books on Human Rights in the Archives and Special Collections at the Dodd Center.

Joint Statement from Centers, Institutes, and Programs

January 22, 2018

As leaders of centers, institutes, and programs at the University of Connecticut dedicated to advancing critical understanding of social justice and human rights, we are fully committed to the aim, outlined in the university’s mission, of helping students grow intellectually and become contributing members of society. We pursue this work with full consciousness that many of our programs were created in the wake of social justice movements that sought recognition not only of the rights of marginalized peoples, but also of the obligation on the part of higher education to embrace diversity, cultivate civic responsibility, and promote equity and justice. Our centers, institutes, and programs support research and teaching in fields of knowledge that would not exist but for hard won protections of First Amendment values and academic freedom, and we strive to create robust, rigorous, and responsible intellectual communities among faculty and students of different backgrounds, opinions, and orientations. Critical and productive scholarly inquiry requires environments that foster diverse viewpoints and free and responsible exchange, even–and especially–when those contributions challenge orthodox thinking, wherever on the political spectrum it may be situated.

The invitation to author and media personality Ben Shapiro has provided us an opportunity to reflect on these histories and current objectives of our centers, institutes, and programs, and to reaffirm our essential roles in promoting the university’s core mission of enhancing the social, economic, and cultural well-being of our students and the wider community. We reject the claims of Mr. Shapiro, and those of like-minded individuals and organizations, that our programs are illegitimate or unnecessary university endeavors, and that challenging systemic oppression and seeking more just societies constitutes “brainwashing.” Freedom of expression and academic freedom are essential to promoting diversity of thought and opinion of all members of the community and enable us to engage productively in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Broad participation in these pursuits, however, requires not only speaking but also listening – not only “free speech” but also responsible efforts to understand the speech of others. We urge all members of the community to demonstrate our commitment to these values both in this week and beyond.

The following links showcase our centers, institutes, and programs, and indicate some of the ways in which we are working to promote–through efforts such as the Initiative on Campus Dialogues (https://humilityandconviction.uconn.edu/initiative-on-campus-dialogues/) and the metanoia Together: Confronting Racism (https://together.uconn.edu/)–open and mutually respectful exchange on the burning issues of today. Only through such sustained, painstaking, at times uncomfortable work can we hope to advance our collective understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world around us.

Africana Studies Institute
https://africana.uconn.edu/mission/
American Studies Program
https://americanstudies.uconn.edu/about/
Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
https://asianamerican.uconn.edu/profile/mission_statement/
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
https://judaicstudies.uconn.edu/about/
El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies
https://elin.uconn.edu/
Humanities Institute
https://humanities.uconn.edu/
Human Rights Institute
https://humanrights.uconn.edu
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
https://thedoddcenter.uconn.edu/about/history/
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
https://wgss.uconn.edu/our-mission/

Sebastian Wogenstein, Interim Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
Samuel Martinez, Interim Director, El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies
Glenn Mitoma, Director, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Melina Pappademos, Interim Director, Africana Studies Institute
Michael P. Lynch, Director, Humanities Institute
Alexis L. Boylan, Associate Director, Humanities Institute
Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
Kathryn Libal, Director, Human Rights Institute
Molly Land, Associate Director, Human Rights Institute
Micki McElya, Director, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Christopher R. Vials, Director, American Studies Program

1.31.18 Human Rights Film Series: Wasteland

2017-2018 Human Rights Film Series
Aesthetics & Politics
Art History & Human Rights

presents

Waste Land

(2010, Director Lucy Walker)

TUESDAY, January 30, 2018
3:30 – 5:30pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Free Admission

 


Waste Land Poster

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

2.21.18 Day of Remembrance: And Then They Came For Us

2018 Day of Remembrance for the Incarceration of Individuals of Japanese Ancestry

Screening of

And Then They Came for Us

and conversation with

filmmaker Abby Ginzberg

and

activist Karen Korematsu

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
5:30pm – Reception
6:00pm – Screening & Discussion

Spotlight Theaters Front Street 4
39 Front Street
Hartford, CT

And Them They Came for Us poster

 

Seventy-five years ago, Executive Order 9066 paved the way to the profound violation of constitutional rights that resulted in the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans.  Featuring George Takei and many others who were incarcerated, as well as newly rediscovered photographs of Dorothea Lange, And Then They Came for Us brings history into the present, retelling this difficult story and following Japanese American activists as they speak out against the Muslim registry and travel ban.  Knowing our history is the first step to ensuring we do not repeat it.  And Then They Came for Us is a cautionary and inspiring tale for these dark times.


Abby Ginzberg

Abby Ginzberg, has been producing award-winning documentaries about race and social justice for the past 30 years.  She is the co-producer and co-director of Agents of Change, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and won the Jury and the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary.  Abby attended Cornell during the time depicted in the film.

Her feature award-winning documentary, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa(2014) won a Peabody award and has screened at film festivals around the world.  It has won four audience awards for Best Documentary.  It also won an Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award from the Global Film Awards.

 

 


Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu is the Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and the daughter of the late Fred T. Korematsu. In 2009, on the 25th anniversary of the reversal of Fred’s WWII U.S. Supreme Court conviction, Karen established the Fred T. Korematsu Institute.

Since her father’s passing in 2005, Karen has carried on Fred’s legacy as a civil rights advocate, public speaker and public educator. She shares her passion for social justice and education at K-12 public and private schools, colleges and universities, law schools, teachers’ conferences and organizations across the country.

 


 

Cosponsored by

UConn Hartford

Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Asian American Cultural Center

 

11.2.17 2017 Dodd Prize Ceremony

Please Join

Susan Herbst, President of the University of Connecticut

and

The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd

to award the 2017 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights to

 

Physicians for Human Rights

 

Thursday, November 2, 2017
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
University of Connecticut, Storrs

__

Reception to Follow

Free and Open to the Public

For more information, or to RSVP contact University Events & Conference Services at rsvp@uconn.edu or 860.486.1038

MORE INFORMATION

10.18.17 Human Rights Film Series – Finding Oscar

2017-2018 Human Rights Film Series
Aesthetics & Politics
Art History & Human Rights

presents

Finding Oscar

(2017, Director Ryan Suffern)

WEDNESDAY, October 18, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

 

Free Admission

 


Harvard University professor Kirsten Weld, specialist in the Guatemalan civil war (1960-1996), will speak in conversation with UConn professor of Human Rights and Visual Culture, Michael Orwicz. Weld and Orwicz will talk informally about the Guatemalan government’s genocidal war against its own citizens, and the role of visual culture in bringing that genocide to world attention.


Finding Oscar PosterIn a forgotten massacre during Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, a young boy was spared, only to be raised by one of the very soldiers who killed his family. Nearly 30 years after the tragedy, it will take a dedicated team – from a forensic scientist to a young Guatemalan prosecutor – to uncover the truth and bring justice to those responsible…by finding the missing boy named Oscar.

9.27.17 Thomas W. Smith: Human Rights and War through Civilian Eyes

12:15 – 1:45pm – Colloquium:
“Counting the Costs of the War in Syria”
Humanities Institute
(Library 4th Floor)
Lunch will be served

4:30 – 6:00 – Public Lecture:
“Human Rights and War through Civilian Eyes”
Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Thomas W. Smith is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida

Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Humanities Institute, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.