Human Rights Program Funding (formerly the Human Rights Initiative)

Fall 2014 Human Rights Program Funding

The Human Rights Program Funding (formerly the Human Rights Initiative) is seeking proposals for human rights events for Fall 2014.  Another competition will be run during the Fall 2014 semester to fund programs for Spring 2015.

Formerly known as the Human Rights Initiative, this program has funded speakers, films, workshops, art exhibits and theatrical productions. Applications will be accepted from university departments, faculty, student groups, institutes and cultural centers from all UConn campuses.

Criteria For Funding:
Funds will normally be limited to a maximum of $2,500 per program. Under exceptional circumstances, the committee may approve a higher amount depending upon the significance of the speaker or event.

Types of Events Eligible for Support:
Funding is available to pay for speaker's honoraria, speaker travel and meals, for group performances, round table discussions, programs, or promotional materials.

Who May Apply:
Funding will be available to representatives of university departments, schools, colleges, student groups, institutes, and cultural centers.

Criteria for Selection:

A faculty and student review committee will consider the following criteria when selecting what organizations will receive funding:

The criteria and application for funding are both available by PDF download: click here.

All application should be submitted electronically in PDF format to If you have any questions please call 860-486-5393 or email

Application Deadline is March 25th, 2014

Please contact Rachel Jackson at 860-486-5393 or via email at, if you have questions.

Fall 2012 Human Rights Program Funding

Thomas Bruhn/William Benton Museum of Art
MetroPAL.IS, Art Exhibit

Within the complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that have led to suffering and death on both sides, the artist, Shimon Attie, has sought to create a forum that emphasizes a commonality that “could help to thaw out the frozen narrative of Middle Eastern politics.” His chosen medium is not a documentary film that revisits past injustices, atrocities, or socio-economic differences, but a video installation that features a dialogue between present-day members of the Israeli and Palestinian communities of New York City.

Diana Chen/International Medical Practice and Exchange (IMPAX)
Global Health and Human Rights Film Series

IMPAX (International Medical Practice Action and eXchange) is a student organization serving medical and dental students interested in global health and medical service projects abroad. IMPAX’s Global Health and Human Rights Film Series will screen four films on a variety of global health issues and invite local and regional subject experts to lead discussions following the films.

Fall 2011 Human Rights Program Funding Awardees

Colin Carlson, ECOalition/ EcoHouse
"Human Conservation: A Symposium on Environmental Justice."
This symposium on environmental justice will focus on the compatibility of environmental goals with human rights and welfare. Additionally, it will consider how individuals can help promote environmental justice.  

Lisa Hastings, Community Outreach
"Haiti Earthquake Speaker: Dan Wooley"
The Office of Community Outreach will welcome Dan Wooley to give a guest lecture about his experiences during the Haitian Earthquake.

Nancy Naples, Women's Studies
Public Lecture by Professor Sandra Harding of UCLA on “Indigenous Knowledges and Human Rights."
This event will feature a guest lecture by Sandra Harding, Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education. Professor Harding’s work argues for the significance of indigenous knowledge for fighting poverty and social inequality.

Fe Delos-Santos, Asian American Studies
"Ground Zero" and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future"
The Asian American Studies program will sponsor a public lecture by Rahna Rizzuto. As we prepare to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the wake of the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami and its aftereffects, Rizzuto will offer a reflection on “Ground Zero” and similarly catastrophic events such as the world’s first “Ground Zero” – Hiroshima.


Recipients of the Human Rights Initiative Funding for the 2010-2011 Academic Year

Reading of "The Red Box," a play by Jason Mitchell, submitted by Frederick S. Roden, Department of English, Stamford Campus
Bringing together the issues of Nazi persecution of homosexuals and the Jewish genocide, the play, "The Red Box" tells the story of Victor, a Holocaust survivor persecuted for both his religion and his sexuality in Third Reich Germany. A panel discussion section will follow the reading, with participation by the playwright and director/stage manager as well as the actors. The event will be held in April to coincide with events held for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Writers on Human Rights, submitted by the Litchfield County Writers Project
In conjunction with PEN American, the Litchfield County Writers Project is offering a special event of readings concerning human rights in the spring of 2011. This event will encourage audiences to consider the essential connection between writing and the expressions of human rights, locally, nationally and globally.

The Asylum and Human Rights Law Clinic, submitted by Jon Bauer, UConn School of Law
The Asylum and Human Rights Law Clinic is an intensive law school clinical program in which students, under faculty supervision, represent clients who are seeking political asylum in the United States.  Clinic students interview and counsel clients, investigate facts supporting their claims, research human rights conditions in the client’s home country, prepare supporting documentation, affidavits and a legal brief in support of the asylum application, and represent clients at asylum interviews and hearings.  The clinic will also conduct an outreach program for undergraduate students at the Storrs campus.

International Puppet Research Conference, submitted by the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
The conference will bring together scholars and puppeteers from around the world to share ideas about how we think about, write about and talk about the global traditions of puppetry in the twenty-first century. In many countries, puppetry has continued is age-old tradition of articulating the hopes and aspirations of its audiences with educational, political, and social healing performances. Understanding these functions more clearly has important applications for the cross-cultural study of history as well as for the analysis of traditional forms and new methods of material performance in the digital age.  

IMPAX Global Health and Human Rights Film Series, submitted by Amy Armstrong and IMPAX
IMPAX, (International Medical Practice Action and eXchange) is a student organization serving medical and dental students interested in global health and medical service projects abroad.  The Global Health and Human Rights Film Series will screen four films on a variety of global health issues, and will invite local and regional experts on the topic to lead a discussion following the films.  This years films will be The Price of Sugar, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Great Silence: Rape in the Congo, and Born into Brothels.

Reading by Anne Michaels, submitted by Donna Hollenberg
Anne Michaels, poet, novelist, and composer, will read from her recent novel The Winter Vault (2009). The novel references the Holocaust as well as other scenes of violent dispossession. This event will coincide with courses on the literature of the Holocaust taught by Professor Donna Hollenberg.

Community Dialogue on "The Right to Food," submitted by Gina DeVivo Brassaw
As a part of the Democracy Dialogue series, the 2010 community dialogue will engage the key issues of the right to food as a basic human right. The event will feature a keynote speaker and a group dinner. This year's speaker will be Raj Patel, award winning writer, activist, and academic. Following the speaker we will break into smaller groups and discuss different approaches to addressing food issues with a direct concentration on how food is a basic human right.

Speaker series "Citizenship and its Discontents," submitted by Manisha Desai
Two speakers, Malini Johar Schueller (University of Florida) and Grace Hong (UCLA)  will deliver public lectures to mark the international Women's right campaign to stop violence against women and International Women's Day. The focus of the speaker series will be to examine what citizenship rights mean today in the context of globalization, the changing nature of the state, and the increased migration of women. 


Recipients of the Human Rights Initiative Funding for Spring 2011

The Afghanistan Vortex: Humanitarianism in the Crossfire, submitted by Alexis Dudden, Department of History
The Foundations of Humanitarianism Program will host a panel discussion revolving around the idea and practice of humanitarian occupation, with specific focus on today's Afghanistan. Three speakers from outside of the University of Connecticut community will make presentations concerning overlapping themes and concerns: nation building, law, and reportage. The presentations will be followed by an audience question and answer discussion session and a reception.

Pride and Prejudice: Production and Talkback, submitted by Dassia Posner and Helene Kvale, Department of Dramatic Arts
The Connecticut Repertory Theatre's upcoming production of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, directed by Helene Kvale, will explore issues of human rights as they relate to gender and class in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The production will foster conversations that expand the definition of what constitutes human rights as they relate to women. To draw audiences into this larger conversation, there will be a number of audience events, including Austen dance workshops, a post-show tea at the Nathan Hale, a Humanities Institute lunchtime lecture and a post-show roundtable.  

Symposium on Examining Health Disparities in Connecticut through a Human Rights Lens, submitted by Lisa Werkmeister Rozas, School of Social Work
The Puerto Rican / Latino Studies Project and the Center on International Social Work Studies at the UConn School of Social Work will host a one-day workshop that allows academics, providers, administrators, activists, students, and consumers to learn more about health as a human right and to debate what a human rights framework could bring to health advocacy and practice in Connecticut. The interdisciplinary and action-focused workshop will consist of a series of speakers in the morning and a panel including local stakeholders in health policy creation in the afternoon.

An Incident of Cutting and Chopping: A performance lecture about the Bindunuwewa child soldier, massacre in Sri Lanka by James Thompson, submitted by Gary English, Department of Dramatic Arts
The performance lecture explores a child soldier massacre in Sri Lanka in 2000 and is based on Professor Thompson's work in Sri Lanka since that time. This event will foster and expand interest in Human Rights on campus by connecting it specifically to activity in the arts and will coincide with the first semester that Theater and Human Rights is taught on campus.