Aug. 1, 2018: Special Screening of Dawnland


Wednesday, August 1, 2018
3:30pm – 5:30p

Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

featuring talk-back with
filmmaker Adam Mazo
Maine-Wabanaki TRC member gkisedtanamoogk

Dawnland Poster“My foster mother told me … she would save me from being Penobscot.”

For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools. Many children experienced devastating emotional and physical harm by adults who mistreated them and tried to erase their cultural identity.

Now, for the first time, they are being asked to share their stories.

In Maine, a historic investigation—the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States—begins a bold journey. For over two years, Native and non-Native commissioners travel across Maine. They gather testimony and bear witness to the devastating impact of the state’s child welfare practices on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribal communities. Collectively, these tribes make up the Wabanaki people

The feature-length documentary DAWNLAND follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.

The TRC discovers that state power continues to be used to break up Wabanaki families, threatening the very existence of the Wabanaki people. Can they right this wrong and turn around a broken child welfare system? DAWNLAND foregrounds the immense challenges that this commission faces as they work toward truth, reconciliation, and the survival of all Indigenous peoples.

Living at the easternmost edge of Turtle Island, the Wabanaki people are the first to see the new day’s light. If harmony and justice begin in the east, as some prophesize, surely the TRC is a sign of this beginning.


Malka Penn Award Submissions Sought

Submissions are now invited for the 2019 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature.  The prize is awarded annually by the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut is presented 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 Malka Penn Award is part of the Dodd Center’s K-12 Human Rights Education Initiative.

The Malka Penn Award winner will be announced at the 2018 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and an award ceremony held during the Spring 2019 Semester at the Dodd Center in Storrs, Connecticut.  The Award winner will receive a bronze medallion and certificate, and will be invited to deliver an address to the university faculty, students, and wider community.

The recipient of the inaugural 2018 Malka Penn Award was Suzanne Del Rizzo for her book, My Beautiful Birds, which used simple, poetic language and stunning illustrations created from polymer clay and acrylic paints to tell the story of a young Syrian boy fleeing war with his family.

Eligibility: Any book for young children (birth through age 12) originally published in the United States between Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2018 is eligible for consideration for the 2019 Malka Penn Award.  The book may be a work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, or biography aimed at children below the age of thirteen.  Books must be published in a physical, print form—e-books are currently ineligible for consideration.

The deadline for submission for the 2019 Malka Penn Award is October 1, 2018.

To submit a book for consideration, send five copies to:

Malka Penn Award Selection Committee
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
405 Babbidge Road, U-1205
Storrs, CT  06269-1205

For more info visit


White Paper on Protecting Rights at the End of the Line

The University of Connecticut’s Business and Human Rights Initiative has published a White Paper on Protecting Rights at the End of the Line: Stakeholder Engagement in Light Manufacturing, which draws insights from experts across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America on how best to address human rights challenges in global supply chains. The White Paper may be found here.

The report features the findings of a two-day conference hosted in October 2017 at UConn’s Storrs campus, which brought together business representatives, labor and human rights advocates, policy experts and academics (see conference website). Written by policy analyst and author Deborah Leipziger, the White Paper provides an overview of existing multistakeholder initiatives (MSIs); examines emerging trends such as worker-driven social responsibility; highlights examples of innovative business models and tools for protecting human rights in the supply chain; and outlines areas for future research and next steps for the field.

“The level of candor about what works and what doesn’t sets this report apart from others. So does the breadth of perspectives from practitioners around the world,” notes Shareen Hertel, UConn professor of political science and human rights, who spearheaded the conference.

The UConn Business and Human Rights Initiative—a partnership of the Thomas J. Dodd Center, the School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut—develops and supports multidisciplinary and engaged research, education, and public outreach at the intersection of business and human rights. To carry out its mission, the Initiative supports and disseminates research by UConn faculty, convenes events that bring together scholars and practitioners, engages with policymakers, businesses, and stakeholders to advance respect for human rights, and supports student learning and professional opportunities in business and human rights.

This report was written with support from UConn’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

April 10, 2018 Human Rights Film Series: Twilight Los Angeles

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


Twilight: Los Angeles

(2000, by Anna Devere Smith)

TUESDAY, April 10, 2018
3:30 – 5:30pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Free Admission


Anna Deveare Smith

In this film adaptation of the award-winning play, Twilight: Los Angeles, writer and performer Anna Deavere Smith takes on the roles of real individuals connected with the 1992 Rodney King verdict and the subsequent uprisings in Los Angeles. This one-woman play explores the history and legacy of racism and oppression through the words of those on the front lines.

April 1 – May 1, 2018: Race and Revolution Exhibit

Race and Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal

April 1 – May 1, 2018

Reception: Friday, April 13 at 6:30pm

Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106



Curators: Kathryn Fuller and Larry Ossei-Mensah


Mitsuko Brooks, Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, Damien Davis, Dominique Duroseau, Uraline

Setpembre Hager, L. Kasimu Harris, Olalekan Jeyifous, Mona Kamal, jc lenochan, Karen Lomax,

Carina Maye, Kayla Muldrow, Shervone Neckles, Iviva Olenick, Nicole Soto-Rodríguez, Aram

Han Sifuentes, Marvin Toure, and Antoine Williams




Date Program
April 13, 2018
Opening Reception
April 14, 2018
Open Book Test: An engaging performance with Dennis Redmoon Darkeem questioning how much we really know about “American History” and whose narratives are behind our understanding of past in the US.
April 14, 2018
Panel Workshop featuring curators Kathryn Fuller and Larry Ossei-Mensah, Patricia O’Rourke (UConn School of Education), partner teacher and Uraline Septembre Hager, Damien Davis, and jc lenochan from the exhibition. Panelists will provide an introduction and overview to the project, noting both its national and local dimensions, its use of arts-based learning strategies, and the potential of art to serve as both a form of and catalyst for public discourse about difficult subjects. Audience participants will have the opportunities to learn about strategies to design and implement their own initiatives that partner with professional artists, as well as think critically about the issue of school segregation and integration in the Hartford region.
April 19, 2018
Race and Revolutionary ReadJoin us for the latest installment of our community reading series, focused on books that spark revolutionary conversations about social justice. In an exciting partnership with Hartford Public Library, this Spring we are featuring Citizen: An American Lyric!

Pick up a copy of the book at Hartford Public Library, Charter Oak Cultural Center, or your local book seller and start reading. On April 19, join us in the Charter Oak Sanctuary for an interactive lecture with UConn’s own Shardé M. Davis, Ph.D. Our current gallery exhibition, “Race and Revolution” will also be open for viewing from 6-8PM!

Cosponsored by UConn Hartford

Exploring Segregation of Public Schools in the United States

On April 1, The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center will present the Race and Revolution exhibition in a series that utilizes a combination of contemporary artworks and historical documents as a platform to examine patterns of systemic racism in the United States. This edition, entitled Race and Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal, investigates the prevalence of segregation in the United States public school system.

Since the inception of #BlackLivesMatter in 2012, the American population is reflecting on what happened after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-60s. That word “after” is part of the conundrum that surrounds our present-day conversation around race and racism. What exactly came to an end? The exhibition Still Separate – Still Unequal seeks to examine ongoing racial and economic disparity in the U.S. public school system.

Reports in 2014, the year that marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown V. Board of Education decision declaring segregated schools as unconstitutional, showed an increase in school segregation. How has this happened, and how can we use art to push the conversation into the public discourse in a new and provocative way?

War on the Benighted Test Shot 2



Katie Fuller was an educator for eleven years before curating her first show, Race and Revolution:

Exploring Human Injustices through Art, in the summer/fall of 2016. As a high school English teacher, she taught literature through the lens of historical events. While working in education at the New-York Historical Society, she wrote curriculum and taught classes on civil liberties and the Fourth Amendment.

Always passionate about social justice issues, she felt a pressing need to examine historical memory around race and racism in the United States. These experiences have led her to this specific path – curating the less known and often unspoken histories of systemic racism in the United States by pairing contemporary art with historical narratives. She has applied all she’s learned and continues to learn and challenge people’s perspectives in regards to history and social justice.

Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American independent curator and cultural critic who uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He has organized exhibitions at commercial and nonprofit galleries throughout New York City featuring a roster of critically acclaimed artists including Firelei Baez, ruby amanze, Hugo McCloud and Brendan Fernandes to name a few. Ossei-Mensah is also the Co-Founder of ARTNOIR, a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. He has documented contemporary art happenings for various publications and his writings have profiled some of the most dynamic visual artists working today—Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Lorna Simpson and street artist JR.

jc lenochan - Unfinished Business - What You Think Matters Too.

April 6 & 7, 2018: “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”

Mansfield Middle School Presents

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Butterfly Image

By Celeste Raspanti

a dramatic play about the Holocaust


Friday, April 6th at 7pm Saturday, April 7th at 7pm

followed by

Community Conversation
sponsored by the Dodd Center

Pre-register HERE

Sunday, April 8th at 1pm

All Shows at
Mansfield Middle School
205 Spring Hill Road
Storrs, CT  06268

All Tickets are $8 and are available at the door

or in the MMS office is advance

Produced by special arrangement with


April 4, 2018: Isa Mujahid, “Real Talk”

Real Talk: Reparations, Equity, and Liberation as a Framework for Social Change

Isa MujahidIsa Mujahid, Founder and Organizing Director of CTCORE-Organize Now!

April 4, 2018
Konover Auditorium

Isa Mujahid, Founder and Organizing Director of CTCORE-Organize Now! is a native of Bridgeport, CT. The child and grandchild of Civil Rights Era activists, Isa was aware from an early age the role that racial politics had played in the history of the United States in the oppression of marginalized groups, in particular African Americans. An opportunity to attend private schools in neighboring Fairfield, opened his eyes to the large disparities that exist in the small state of Connecticut.

Dismantling systemic racism and eliminating systemic racial inequities and disparities is the foundation of CTCORE’s purpose. The organization has a 3-pillared approach to racial justice/equity work: Community Building, Training and Community Organizing. CTCORE-Organize Now! is committed to eliminating all systemic racial inequities in Connecticut, using four racial justice categories–criminal justice reform, education equity, economic justice, and environmental justice/health equity.

CTCORE-Organize Now! received the 2018 Community Service Award presented by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Quinnipiac Law School and BLSA 30th Annual Thurgood Marshall Award Ceremony.


May 22, 2018 Back to the Old Country: The Jewish Food Renaissance

Registration is currently closed. 

When: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Infinity Hall Hartford- 32 Front St, Hartford, CT

Directions Click HERE


Food tasting & book talk by: Jeffrey Yoskowitz

The Gefilteria, comprised of renowned author/chefs Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz, are on a mission to preserve traditional eastern European Jewish cuisine and adapting it to suit the evolving tastes of the new generation. They are highlighting how Old World Jewish foods are beautiful, delicious, and are an important resource to connect the past, present, and future.

Learn more at: 


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."