Human Rights & Action Learning Community

Join the HRLAC to learn more about human rights and engage in community service projects with your peers.

HRALC learning community group photo

Our Mission

The Human Rights & Action Learning Community engages students through academic, experiential, and residential activities designed to enhance their understanding of social justice, diversity, and civic responsibility. In partnership with the Human Rights Institute and Community Outreach, we offer service experiences and immersion programs to provide practical forums that foster a greater understanding of individual values, community issues, and the principles necessary for active citizenship.


First-year and sophomore undergraduate students interested in human rights.

This Thursday, join our community partners Formerly, Inc. and The Connecticut Collaborative on Poverty, Criminal Justice, and Race for an event at the CT State Capitol called "Take a Walk in My Shoes."

Participate in a reentry simulation designed to help you understand the struggles and complexities of reentry and the importance of providing support and resources to returning citizens. Join us for an impactful, transformative, and eye-opening experience, and help us build a more inclusive and compassionate community for all.

Space is limited. Register to join them at the link in our bio.

Ahead of the 2023-24 academic year, we're seeking to fill three Graduate Assistant positions in 1. Events & Communications (20 hours/week); 2. the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative (15 hours/week); and 3. the Malka Penn Award (10 hours/week).

Graduate Assistants work closely with HRI and Dodd Impact staff, receiving tuition waivers, subsidized health insurance, and a prorated stipend determined by their contracted hours.

We're thrilled to open these positions to any UConn student pursuing a graduate degree in AY2023-24. For more information and to apply, visit the link in our bio.

Today’s the day, #UConnNation! Join us in supporting human rights programming, research and scholarships through a gift to HRI. #UConnGives

Please visit the link in our bio to donate.

On March 22, join our Human Rights Film+ Series for a screening and discussion of 'After Zero Tolerance,' a @frontlinepbs film by @uconndmd Prof. Oscar Guerra confronting the grave experience of U.S. immigration policy and family separation through one family's firsthand account.

Link in our bio!


Join us next week for #UConnGives, a 36-hour initiative, where you can celebrate your favorite aspects of UConn through giving. Put your paws in and help us celebrate our 20 year anniversary by supporting our programs, faculty research and student scholarships.

A gift to the Human Rights Institute Endowment, the Harrison Fitch Leadership Fund or the International Students, Scholars, and Refugee Fund helps us to advance human rights knowledge and practice through research, teaching and engagement and helps us prepare the next generation of human rights advocates.

Find the link to our personal giving page in our bio, or at

This Saturday, join us at @capitalcc_ct for an #Encounters dialogue discussing historic Black journalism and its legacy, inspired by Jelani Cobb. We welcome all to participate! Register at the link in our bio.

@thewadsworth @cthumanities @uconnhistory @uconnafricana

We are thrilled to announce that today the UConn Board of Trustees has renamed the Human Rights Institute the "Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute." The support and involvement of the Gladstein family have been invaluable to our growth and success. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity and guidance over many years.

From our Director Dr. Kathryn Libal: “This renaming recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by Gary Gladstein ’66 (CLAS), ’08 (HON), Dr. Phyllis Gladstein, and the Gladstein family over the past 25 years, beginning with the first endowment in 1998 that supported the Gladstein Visiting Professorship. This year also marks our 20th anniversary and an opportunity to reflect upon the development and contributions of the Gladstein Institute to the field of interdisciplinary human rights studies. Many thanks to Richard Wilson, who stewarded this relationship as the Founding Director of the Institute and in his role as the Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights. We are grateful as well to Dan Weiner, Vice President for Global Affairs, who has provided unparalleled leadership and engagement. We also acknowledge the tremendous support from the UConn Foundation.”

To read the full release in UConn Today, visit the link in our bio.


Climate change poses immeasurable risks to progress toward human rights globally and locally. In this upcoming #ESRG event, we'll join with the Future Climate Venture Studio at UConn to discuss how collaboration on these issues benefits both.

Join us at the link in our bio.

@uconnresearch @uconnos @uconn_pols

A new series we are proud to launch this semester is the Human Rights Graduate Research Forum. The Forum provides an opportunity for graduate students in any discipline or school doing human rights-related work to receive feedback from peers and faculty in an informal and supportive environment.

On this coming Wednesday, we'll be joined by Imge Akaslan, a Ph.D. candidate in @uconn_pols, for a discussion on her dissertation research "Global Labor Rights Enforcement in Small and Medium-Sized Textile Firms."

The Forum convenes once per month in person during the academic year. For more on our other sessions lined up and to register, check out the link in our bio! @uconnclas @uconngradschool @uconnresearch

From 🇳🇱 Are you ready to learn more about #international and comparative higher education through a historical and #global context?

📚 Challenge the western view of higher education and explore what it means to be an active global citizen with this #ExperientialGlobalLearning program in the Netherlands!

💰 A $5000 scholarship is available to 1 HRTS student - email for additional details on how to apply!

💡 Explore comparative methods and cross-cultural analysis to examine the broader issues of equity and access with a focus on race and social justice - email if you have any ❓

@uconnhri @uconnneag @uconnsocialwork @uconnsos @uconnhumanities @lc.humanitieshouse

On Tuesday, February 7, Dr. Evan Perkoski of @uconn_pols will join the Human Rights Research & Data Hub at HRI to discuss his research on whether and how civil society affects mass killings.

This event is hybrid in modality. It will take place in the Dodd Center Room 162, and simultaneously be streamed online on Zoom. All are welcome to join us!

Link in our bio to register.

On Monday, Feb. 13, we invite you to join Dodd Human Rights Impact at @uconnstamford for an event celebrating the documentary 'Grit & Grace: The Fight for the American Dream,' produced by the 117th Congress's @fairgrowthcmte and directed by @uconndmd Associate Professor Oscar Guerra (@guerraproduction).

We'll be joined by U.S. Representative @repjimhimes and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, the film's director Oscar Guerra, and community leaders working across Connecticut.

We hope to see you there! Register to join us at the link in our bio.

@uconn @uconnsfa @uconnalumni

Coming up on Wednesday, February 1, we hope you'll join us for a reception with the photographer of our most recent exhibition in the halls of The Dodd Center for Human Rights.

Madeline Baird, a PhD student in @uconnanthro and the creator of the exhibition, will join us to describe the treacherous journey migrants take through the Darién Gap, and how her photography reveals both the dangerous individual experience in transit and the policy context that underlies it.

More info at the link in our bio! @uconnsfa @elin_uconn @uconndmd

How can the #cleanenergy transition address historical inequities in how energy is produced and distributed? Join our Engineering for Human Rights team on February 1 for a community dialogue on what opportunities it poses in energy generation, infrastructure, transportation, and #environmentaljustice?

Register at the link in our bio. @uconnengineer

Our first event of the new year!
On Tuesday, January 24 at 4:00 PM, Carl Wilkens will join @uconnjuds and Dodd Human Rights Impact to share his first-hand account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and discuss how society restores trust and justice after such devastation.

We hope to see you there!
Register at the link in our bio or

Reflections from Past Members

Rich Garcia

“The Human Rights and Action Learning Community is the place that I consider my home here at UConn. I think that being in the LC has really allowed me to expand my thought process and really think about the issues that are affecting not only myself, but everyone around me as well.”

- Richard Garcia

“HRALC has done so much for me. I found my best friends, my passions, and because of it I have gotten the most out of my first two years at UConn.”

- Kristen Belisario

Kristen Belasario
Olivia Stevens

“This LC helped me step into college feeling confident and sure of myself. This group of people have helped make this transition much easier and I love the values we believe in as a community.”

- Olivia Stevens

“I would absolutely encourage incoming freshmen to join the HRALC! Sure it may seem like a lot of work at first, but it’s worth it. Especially for those who like want to make friends, care about human rights and like volunteering.”

—Simran Thakur

Simran Thakur

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Anamaria Arteaga

Anamaria Arteaga

Rachel Jackson

Rachel Jackson

Brendan Kane

Brendan Kane