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Awards and Fellowships

Human Rights Program Funding


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 $2,000 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:

  • Clear focus on human rights
  • Creates, fosters and/or expands an interest in human rights
  • Quality of speaker or event
  • Interdisciplinary appeal
  • Appeal to students, faculty, and general public
  • Practical, feasible, well-planned event
  • Reasonable cost and proportional to the impact of event

Please contact Rachel Jackson at 860-486-5393 or via email at rachel.jackson@uconn.edu, if you have questions.

Spring 2016 Human Rights Program Funding Recipients

“La Casa Rosa”–Theatre Performance
Professor Anne Gebelein, El Instituto
Ruth Hernandez, PhD Candidate in Sociology

On February 2, 2016, UConn will host Matlalcueyetl, an all women’s theater troop who make up El Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante Indígena (CAFAMI), an NGO located in San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Tlaxcala, Mexico. The women who comprise Matlalcueyetl, are not professional actors, rather they are family members of undocumented migrants living and working in the United States. Due to the increase of migration from San Francisco Tetlanohcan to the U.S., women from the community together with local activists founded CAFAMI in 2007.
UConn will be Matlalcueyetl’s first performance during their 2016 La Casa Rosa tour. During the month of February they are scheduled to perform at academic institutions and community organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York City. La Casa Rosa is a one-hour play written and performed in Spanish (with English subtitles) that weaves together a series of stories to foreground immigration as human rights issue. Themes of the play include the impact of neoliberal reforms on local agrarian economies in Mexico, human rights abuses along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the ever-pressing issue of family disintegration felt by transnational migrant communities today. The event is sponsored by El Instituto, the Human Rights Institute, the Neag School of Education, PRLACC, and New Haven Sister Cities.

“New Frontiers in Fair Trade”

Timothy Dzurilla, Political Science

New Frontiers in Fair Trade Workshop
April 21st, 2016 1:00-4:30 PM
UConn Co-op, Storrs Downtown location

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The New Frontiers in Fair Trade workshop will bring together fair trade scholars and practitioners to discuss the state of the global fair trade movement and its capacity to protect the social and economic rights of producers.The New Frontiers in Fair Trade workshop will feature two panels of speakers with innovative approaches to fair trade research and practice. Afterwards, a participatory workshop will connect the themes of ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship back to the UConn community and our individual lives.

The Global Refugee Crisis
Kate Peccerillo and Afua Akoto, Connecticut Journal of International Law (CJIL), UConn Law\

There have always been refugees: people forced from their home countries by war, persecution, or other types of violence and who must seek new homes and new lives abroad. But the world is now experiencing a crisis of a greater scope and severity than anything it has seen in decades. The ongoing refugee crisis has placed unprecedented strains on international, regional, and national institutions, and exacerbated longstanding tensions and unresolved questions in the global framework for refugee protection. The Connecticut Journal of International Law will explore these issues in its 2016 Symposium. The Symposium will bring together scholars, practitioners, and global experts in their fields for a meaningful exchange on the current refugee crisis, the issues and challenges it raises, and possible ways forward.

“TEDxUconn Systems and Surroundings: Redefined”
Tasneem Ahmed, TEDxUConn

TEDxUConn is an organization that operates under the TED brand as a means for exposing the local university community to ideas worth spreading. Our 2016 conference, TEDxUConn, Systems and Surroundings: Redefined, will feature live speakers that include UConn faculty and field experts, as well as specially selected students. These individuals originate from a vast variety of backgrounds, and will be part of an incredibly enriching experience hosted right at the University of Connecticut. Throughout the duration of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about and explore innovative topics such as decision-making, workplace atmosphere, and new perspectives on climate change, just to name a few. We hope to provide the most fruitful and educational experience for our attendees and speakers, as well as an entertaining medium to bring new ideas to the University of Connecticut.

“Refugees in Detention Assistance Trip”
Anna Cabot, Asylum Clinic–UConn School of Law

A group of students and professors from both the UConn Schools of Law and Social Work are going to spend spring break working with female asylum seekers from Central America who are being held in detention in York County, Pennsylvania. Most of these women fled to the U.S. to escape situations of severe domestic violence, sexual assault, or abuse inflicted by gangs. Upon arriving in the U.S., they were detained and now await their asylum hearings in a remote Pennsylvania prison. Due to the expense of legal counsel, the strain on the local non-profits, and lack of lawyers practicing in the area, none of these women have legal representation. The students on this trip will help the asylum seekers to better be able to represent themselves in their asylum hearings, and help them to submit applications and materials that will assist them in proving their cases. The trip will serve the students as an intensive and probably exhausting training in asylum law, client interviewing and counseling, legal research and analysis, and trial preparation, and will expose them to one of the most pressing human rights issues both in the U.S. and globally.

Gary English, Dramatic Arts
The Connecticut Repertory Theatre Production of Olives and Blood

Suzy Killmister, Philosophy and Human Rights
Injustice League Workshop on Dominating Speech

Bryan Stenson, University of Connecticut Health Center
IMPAX Global Health and Human Rights Film Series

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.

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.

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.
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.

Forum on Disabilities, Human Rights, and Social Inclusion, submitted by Kathryn Libal, UConn School for Social Work
The Forum on Disabilities will be held both at the School for Social Work, and at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and will feature Dr. Gunn Strand Hutchinson, of Bodo University College, Norway, who has been active within international social work on the Disabilities Convention, as well as a local speakers and activists who are experts on the American Disabilities Act and the debate over US ratification of the Convention. The events are tentatively scheduled for Spring 2010.
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.
The Parkville Project, submitted by Helene Kvale, Department of Dramatic Arts
The Parkville Project is an original site-specific piece of theatre which weaves text, music, and puppetry into a magical realist narrative, exploring immigration and identity within the Brazilian and Portuguese communities of the Parkville neighborhood in Hartford. A workshop of The Parkville Project will be held in conjunction with the conference, Human Rights in the USA, on October 23, 2009, and further developed for a full scale production in 2010.
The Litchfield County Writers Project Panels on Human Rights, submitted by Davyne Verstandig, Director of the Litchfield County Writers Project, UConn-Torrington
The Litchfield County Writers Project will host a series of evening panel discussions during Fall 2009, entitled “Justice, Injustice, and Human Rights.” The series will merge literature and human rights, and will focus on four main themes: The Power of Media in Human Rights; The Justice System? Convictions and Innocence; Film, Plays and Gay Rights; and PEN: Writers on Human Rights.
Exhibition: The Spirit of Afghanistan: Carpets of War and Hope, submitted by Karen Sommer, William Benton Museum of Art
This exhibition during the fall of 2009 will display 50 Afghan carpets created since 1979 when the wars started in Afghanistan. The carpet industry, worked by women, thrives in Afghanistan and is its largest legal export despite continuous wars. The modern carpets incorporate traditional design elements yet are constantly evolving and changing, some now depicting elements of warfare, such as landmines, grenades, and guns into traditional patterns. This collection of carpets and textiles are viewed not just as art, but also as expressions of culture, history, and human rights.
Conference: Hope in Hard Times: The Human Rights of Domestic Workers, submitted by Fe Delos Santos, Asian American Studies Institute
This conference on domestic workers rights will explore the political and economic dimensions of gender/care work and human rights campaigns by domestic workers. While media coverage of the current economic downturn has largely focused on the losses of the affluent, the conference will focus on the struggles of the unheralded, low-wage, and mostly immigrant workers from the perspectives of activism, policy and scholarship. The conference is planned to be held in March 2010 and is a collaborative effort between various centers, institutes, and departments on campus.
Forum: Representing Crisis in Latin America: Humanitarianism and Beyond, submitted by Kerry Bystrom, Department of English
This roundtable discussion will be organized around a set of questions raised at the Foundation of Humanitarianism Program’s October 2008 conference on Humanitarianism and Responsibility. Participants in this two hour roundtable will address the specific questions regarding the discourse surrounding humanitarianism and US relations and obligations to Latin America. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists and engage with participants.
IMPAX Global Health and Human Rights Film Series, submitted by Naomi Avery and Lauren Rosen, UConn Medical School
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. Two films will be from the Human Rights Film Collection at Homer Babbidge Library, and two films will be purchased for the IMPAX film series and then added to the Human Rights Film Collection.