Human Rights Close to Home Youth Summit

January 11, 2023
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
In Person - UConn Storrs

About the Youth Summit

We're pleased to announce the second annual Human Rights Close to Home Youth Summit! This one-day summit is designed by youth for youth and convenes young activists and allies from around Connecticut to learn and mobilize as a community. It will take place on January 11, 2023 at the University of Connecticut Storrs Campus.

The Youth Summit is part of Human Rights Close to Home (HRCH), which is an innovative three-year pilot program that aims to promote rights-based civic engagement by youth through human rights education.

We are offering Connecticut students an opportunity to participate in the Youth Summit, a major event within the Human Rights Close to Home initiative. This Youth Summit is created and led by the Human Rights Close to Home Youth Advisory team. This is a one-day educational space for young activists and allies from around CT to come together as a community.

In May 2022, we succeeded in gathering students from a diverse range of Connecticut high schools for an engaging day of hands-on workshops and guest speakers. Our goal was to provide powerful learning experiences that would enable and encourage attendees to take action for human rights back in their school communities. 

Throughout the Youth Summit, students and educators will participate in workshops designed by youth and will interact with a wide range of speakers, from fellow youth activists to professional human rights advocates.

At this time, the Youth Summit is open only to Connecticut high school students and teachers. Please direct any questions to the HRCH Youth Advisory Team coordinators Chris Buckley, Sian Charles-Harris, and Jake Skrzypiec.

Students & Teachers – Register Now!

Interested in attending the HRCH Youth Summit? Register here by Monday, December 5, 2022.

If you are an educator and are in need of transportation assistance we are happy to help.
Please contact our Youth Advisory Team Coordinators for assistance: Chris Buckley, Sian Charles-Harris, and Jake Skrzypiec.

Call for Student Proposals

Students who would like to present should visit the Call for Presentation Proposals form and view the  Youth Summit Presentation Proposal Guide.

Students creating demonstration signs & art in a hands-on workshop

Students creating demonstration signs & art in a hands-on workshop

Denise Merrill (Fm. CT Secretary of State), Terra Volpe (CT Against Gun Violence), Leila Affini (Manchester youth leader), speaking on female empowerment panel

Denise Merrill (Fm. CT Secretary of State), Terra Volpe (CT Against Gun Violence), Leila Affini (Manchester youth leader), speaking on female empowerment panel

Students from across Connecticut gathering together for keynote speaker

Students from across Connecticut gathering together for the keynote speaker

HRCH Youth Advisory Team

Lilly Coleman, Manchester High School
Kevin Maysonet, Manchester High School
Quinn Hope, E.O. Smith High School
Lysa-Raye Mccaw, Bloomfield High School
Skylar Mattice, Brookfield High School
Mac Rodriguez, Brookfield High School
Shirin Unvala-Brien McMahon, Center for Global Studies High School

HRCH Youth Advisory Team Coordinators

Chris Buckley, Brookfield High School
Sian Charles-Harris, UCONN Neag School of Education 
Jake Skrzypiec, Manchester High School

Human Rights Close to Home (HRCH) engages educators and youth in the development and implementation of human rights education for civic action. We empower teachers with the knowledge, skills, values, and relationships to become expert human rights and civics educators. We foster youth leadership through experiential learning opportunities that have a direct impact on our youth and their communities. 

Human Rights Close to Home is a program of Dodd Impact, a part of the Human Rights Institute at UConn.

Community Dialogue on Solar Energy & Electro-Mobility: Opportunities & Challenges for a Just Energy Transition in Connecticut

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
12:00 pm - 1
:30 pm
In Person and Online
Heritage Room - Homer Babbidge Library

About This Event:

Clean energy has become one of the key strategies to mitigate and reduce the effects of climate change, reduce oil dependency, improve the quality of our environment, and reduce household expenses on energy. However, the benefits from energy production and distribution have not been equally experienced by all communities. And the negative social and environmental consequences have not been equally shouldered. The clean energy transition may be an opportunity to redress some of those inequalities.

Please join us for an event aimed at fostering dialogue among community representatives, researchers, and policymakers interested in the equity implications of solar energy and electric mobility. Together, we’ll explore the sustainability and human rights challenges and opportunities that the clean energy revolution might bring to these sectors. We’ll focus, in particular, on the situation of historically underserved communities in Connecticut.

Faculty members from the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering and Human Rights Institute will share their research and all participants will engage in active discussion. In-person and hybrid options for participation are available.

Join us!

This accessible event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The event will be hosted in the Heritage Room (Level 4 of the Homer Babbidge Libary), as well as online through Zoom.

About The Engineering For Human Rights Initiative

A collaborative venture between the Human Rights Institute and UConn’s School of Engineering, the Engineering for Human Rights initiative is focused on making human rights an integral component of effective engineering practice. We are teaching tomorrow's engineers risk management, climate resiliency, life-cycle analysis, and impact assessment. Our faculty specialize in research key to advancing human health, environmental sustainability, and industrial competitiveness. Together, we are focused on safeguarding people and nature, while advancing innovation.

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact

Evolving Landscapes of Human Rights

Celebrating 20 Years of Interdisciplinarity & Innovation

March 29-31, 2023 • Storrs, CT

Evolving Landscapes of Human Rights

To celebrate the Human Rights Institute’s 20th anniversary, we are convening an international conference, showcasing the thematic foci of the Institute's research and practice clusters.

This international conference will convene more than 40 speakers over the course of three days. Conference panels will address themes central to the work of the Institute's research and practice clusters, including:

  • Right to health in Latin America
  • Memorialization, transitional justice, and human rights
  • Humanitarian narratives in the global south
  • History and future of war crimes prosecution
  • Human rights, science, and technology
  • Challenges and methodological approaches of monitoring and measuring human rights
  • Reflections on the US National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct
  • Supply chains disrupted: the social and environmental dimensions of reform

These panels cut distinct routes through the human rights terrain while remaining rooted in rigorous social science and humanities methods of inquiry. The discussions both reflect and celebrate the interdisciplinarity of HRI’s research programs and the innovative scholarship that have emerged from two decades of hosting conferences, workshops, and invited speakers across these domains. 

Founded in 2003, the Human Rights Institute has fostered an empirical and historical approach to human rights teaching and research that subjects universal moral values and legal rights to rigorous scrutiny. Today’s HRI is a vibrant intellectual community, with 15 core faculty members in 11 different departments, 3 post-doctoral fellows, and nearly 50 associated faculty across the University. It has ten established research clusters. HRI is also home to robust undergraduate and graduate programs, including  the first undergraduate major at a public research university, a university-wide graduate certificate program, and master of arts degree.

HRI has provided a fruitful site for convening for scholars across disciplines, instigating and supporting collaboration across conventional academic boundaries. Situated at the intersection of academic inquiry between the legal, social science, and humanities traditions, the University of Connecticut is a place where the promise and claims of human rights are interrogated through empirical research into institutions and processes, both global and local. Human rights are not simply academic subjects, however, and we seek to inform and shape policy decisions through our empirical investigations. 

This conference will continue its tradition, drawing scholars and practitioners from around the world to renew ongoing conversations and to inspire new ones about the latest challenges in the field.

Conference Overview

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

All events will take place in the Konover Auditorium at The Dodd Center for Human Rights unless otherwise noted.

10:00 a.m. Opening remarks
10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. History and Future of War Crimes Prosecution

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has precipitated a turning point in the international law of war crimes. In similar previous moments, new concepts and terms emerged to make sense of crimes and to prepare a path toward justice. "War crimes," "crimes against humanity," "genocide," and "human rights" are examples of these earlier concepts. Recognizing the importance of historical context in establishing these precedents, what new concepts, what new language, can help make sense of crimes committed in twenty-first century warfare and contribute to securing justice?



Predrag Dojčinović, Adjunct Professor and Research Affiliate, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut

Emma Gilligan, Associate Professor of International Studies, Indiana University Bloomington

Nathaniel Raymond, Director, Humanitarian Research Lab, Yale University's School of Public Health

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow, Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University


Moderator: Sara Silverstein, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut


11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Supply Chains Disrupted: The Social and Environmental Dimensions of Reform

Global supply chains have experienced multiple recent and high-profile shocks, driven in part by labor shortages and transportation snares spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and by commodities shortfalls linked to the war in Ukraine. Beneath these disruptions are underlying problems including a lack of social protection floors for workers in multiple industries, and a lack of regulatory safeguards for new industries integral to contemporary supply networks (e.g., e-commerce and other elements of the digital economy). Panelists will explore problems and proposals for reform aimed at safeguarding the economic rights of workers while shoring up the social and environmental sustainability of global supply chains. 



Tola Moeun, Executive Director, Center for Alliance of Labor & Human Rights in Cambodia 

Marina Colby, Senior Labor Advisor, USAID 

Mark Anner, Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights, Penn State University

Judy Gearhart, Senior Researcher, American University School of International Service


Moderator: Shareen Hertel, Professor of Political Science and Human Rights, University of Connecticut


1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. LunchStudent Union, 3rd Floor


3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Russian Propaganda for War 

What is the character and function of Russian propaganda for war, and what concrete effects does it have on Russian popular opinion on the war? Has social media changed the terrain and meant that states can no longer control information as much as before? Can propagandists, publishers, and media owners be held accountable under international law for inciting war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide? This panel brings together experts in Russian media and international law to examine the legal and political implications of war propaganda.



Richard A. Wilson, Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Law and Anthropology, University of Connecticut

Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow, Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Predrag Dojčinović, Adjunct Professor and Research Affiliate, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut


4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. A Legacy Without Limits Film Screening and Discussion 

A Legacy Without Limits celebrates the life and work of human rights scholar and advocate Wiktor Osiatyński, highlighting his key role in the founding and development of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. Directed by UConn faculty member Catherine Masud, the film features interviews with Wiktor’s family and friends, as well as colleagues at UConn, Open Society Foundations, the Central European University, and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, each reflecting on the impact of Wiktor’s legacy and what it means for human rights today and in the future.



Ewa Woydyłło Osiatynska, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Certified Family Counselor and Supervisor in Addiction Treatment

Natalia Osiatynska, Strategic Writer and Brand Naming Consultant

Maciej Nowicki, President, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Małgorzata Szuleka, Secretary of the Board,  Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Gary Gladstein, Founder, Marsha Lilien Gladstein Foundation


Moderator: Kathryn Libal, Director, Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute and Associate Professor, Social Work and Human Rights, University of Connecticut


Production credits: Director, Catherine Masud; Executive Producer, Kathryn Libal;  Post Production Producer, Sahil Laul; Archival Producer, Alex Branzell, Camera, Catherine Masud, Sahil Laul, Laurel Pehmoeller; Editing, Catherine Masud, Sahil Laul


Thursday, March 30, 2023

All events will take place in the Konover Auditorium at The Dodd Center for Human Rights unless otherwise noted.

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Global Health & the Right to Health: Critical Perspectives from Latin America

The intersection of Global Health and Human Rights has generated concepts, methods, and political debates, as well as legislation and programs. In official accounts, the importance of local activism, social movements, and regional trajectories in the history of global health and the right to health is often overshadowed by international organizations and foundations’ universalizing narratives of what human rights are and how to measure progress. In this panel, leading scholars and activists from Latin America will challenge these top-down accounts by sharing incredible conceptual, methodological and political contributions of subaltern proposals from Latin America. Panelists will not only shed light on the regional specificities of their struggles, but also show how this region is at the forefront of challenging Western perspectives on the right to health, for instance by proposing novel decommodified and pluriversal perspectives on the social determination of the health-disease-treatment process, intercultural health, and healthcare systems.



Mario Hernández-Álvarez, Coordinator of the Doctoral Program on Public Health, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Alejandro Cerón-Valdes, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver

Erika Arteaga-Cruz, Professor, San Francisco de Quito University 


Moderator: César E. Abadía-Barrero, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Human Rights, University of Connecticut 


10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. The US National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct

On June 16, 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration that the federal government would soon begin updating and revitalizing the United States’ National Action Plan (NAP) on Responsible Business Conduct. Interested parties were provided the opportunity to submit written comments for federal government agencies to consider in developing the NAP. Submissions from business, civil society, and academia were followed by informal consultations between these groups and the government in 2022. The United States published its first NAP in December 2016, one of about 30 countries throughout the world to have done so. The panel will consider the role of NAPs and how the NAP could and should take forward the business and human rights agenda in the United States.



Jena Martin, Robert L. Shuman Professor of Law and Ethics, West Virginia University

Jordyn Arndt, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Eric Biel, Senior Advisor, Fair Labor Association; Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown Law


Moderator: Rachel Chambers, Assistant Professor of ​Business Law, University of Connecticut School of Business


12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunchtime Breakout SessionsStudent Union, 3rd Floor


Exploring a Human Rights-based Approach to Engineering

Engineering has profound implications for human societies, individuals, and the environment. Yet, the field's traditional focus on shaping the physical and natural world has frequently underemphasized the social impacts of engineering practice. Human rights offer a specific framework for managing harm prevention and enhancing the social benefits of engineering. This breakout session will discuss the "Engineering for Human Rights" paradigm and showcase ongoing research and teaching efforts in this area at the University of Connecticut. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage in a case study discussing the application of engineering ethics and Human rights to engineering work.



Davis Chacon-Hurtado, Assistant Research Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Human Rights, University of Connecticut

Shareen Hertel, Professor of Political Science and Human Rights, University of Connecticut

Genevieve Rigler, Ph.D. Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut


Engaging the Human Rights Archive at The Dodd Center for Human Rights

The Human Rights Collections within UConn Library’s Archives and Special Collections documents human rights and social justice struggles. This growing collection is a repository for materials invaluable to researchers and in the classroom. Presenters share insights into several collections related to war tribunals, genocide, children’s labor rights, rights to housing, and more. Attendees have an opportunity to think about how histories of human rights can be examined within this growing collection.



Catherine Masud, Assistant Professor in Residence, Digital Media and Design and Human Rights, University of Connecticut; Director, A Legacy Without Limits

Predrag Dojčinović, Adjunct Professor and Research Affiliate, Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut

Fiona Vernal, Director of Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories (EPOCH) and Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, University of Connecticut


Alumni Experiences in the Human Rights Field

Human rights informs work in a range of professions. This breakout session draws upon the experiences of three UConn alum who share insights into how human rights matter in their work. Attendees will have a chance to engage the panelists and each other to discuss the diverse applications of human rights knowledge in practice at the community, state, national, or international levels.



Victor Schachter, Founder and President, The Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives

Jeff Smith, Founder and Director, Vanguard Africa; Producer, The Resistance Bureau

Johanna DeBari, Director of Workforce Equity and Training, Caring Health Center, Springfield, Massachusetts 


1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Human Rights Measurement and Monitoring: Challenges and Methodological Approaches

In order to document and describe the extent of human rights conditions and abuses, advance our understanding of their causes and consequences, and inform policy and advocacy requires that we accurately and systematically observe and measure these phenomena. Because human rights abusers seek to obfuscate their actions and deny access to evidence, this is a tremendous challenge. The Human Rights Research and Data (HuRRD) Hub workshop session brings together scholars working on cutting edge techniques to improve and expand the measurement of human rights fulfillment and violations, as well as the institutional and policy approaches to prevent or address them, around the world. Panelists will explain the key challenges to human rights measurement and observation that their research aims to address, introduce their innovative methodological approaches to meeting these challenges, and discuss how their data can be used in human rights research, policy, and advocacy. Panelist presentations will lead to an open format discussion to 1) elicit critical feedback on the projects from the audience, 2) make these cutting edge methodological advances in human rights research accessible to the audience, and 3) identify present limitations in human rights measurement and the needs for innovation and future research to address these gaps.



Rebecca Cordell, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Texas-Dallas

Chris Fariss, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

Kelebogile Zvobgo, Assistant Professor of Government, William & Mary and Director, International Justice Lab

Skip Mark, Assistant Professor and Director, Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies, University of Rhode Island


Moderator: Mike Rubin, Assistant Research Professor, Human Rights, Engineering & Business and Director, Human Rights Research and Data Hub


3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Transforming Human Rights Education for Contentious Times

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “every individual and every organ of society…shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms” (1948). Since then, human rights education has evolved from a field that aims to raise awareness about respect for human rights to one through which a person or community has the potential to transform as a result of realizing human rights and one’s ability to influence positive social change. At the same time, scholars and practitioners have critiqued human rights and human rights education for privileging Western and Eurocentric contributions to the fields over non-Western knowledge, values, and perspectives. As a result, they have been engaged in the work of decolonizing human rights education. In this panel, leading human rights education scholars will draw on their decades of experience to reflect on the past and discuss how human rights education needs to continue to evolve at present to meet these contentious times. They will discuss how human rights education can address global challenges such as prejudice and discrimination, economic injustice, and the effects of the climate crisis, and examine how scholarship can inform practice to contend with the human rights challenges of today.  



Audrey Osler, Professor Emerita of Human Rights Education and Citizenship, University of Leeds

Michalinos Zembylas, Professor of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies, Open University of Cyprus

Andre´ Keet, Research Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Transformation, Nelson Mandela University


Moderator: Sandra Sirota, Assistant Professor in Residence, Experiential Global Learning & Human Rights, University of Connecticut


4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Gladstein Visiting Professor Keynote Address: "Accountability and its Discontent – Between Hope and Despair"

Rashida Manjoo, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, and Professor Emerita, University of Cape Town


Friday, March 31, 2023

All events will take place in the Konover Auditorium at The Dodd Center for Human Rights unless otherwise noted.

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Memorialization, Transitional Justice, and Human Rights

The power of memorialization is widely recognized as a form of symbolic reparation aimed at redressing social injustices in the aftermath of mass violence. Yet its potential to activate the connection between repair and social transformation remains underutilized in contexts of transitional justice and international human rights law. This panel unites memorialization practitioners with experts in international human rights law to address how we can integrate memorial practices into multilayered strategies for justice and social reconciliation.



Diego García Sayán, former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Sergio Beltrán García, Assistant Researcher, Forensic Architecture

Jha D Amazi, Principal, Co-Director, Public Memory & Memorials Lab, MASS Design Group

Claret Vargas, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Justice & Accountability


Moderator: Robin Greeley, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art History, University of Connecticut 


10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Humanitarian Narratives in the Global South

This panel will reassess the narrative conventions surrounding human rights and humanitarianism as well as the responses they are presumed to evoke in readers and publics. Can appeals to empathy with human suffering or stories of traumatized refugees and witnesses to mass crimes still have a lasting and substantial impact in enlisting public support for human rights?  What role can literature play in identifying new narrative forms or alternative kinds of evidence, including historical evidence, to make sense of the current relationships between humanitarianism, human rights, and global economic inequality?



Joseph R. Slaughter, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University

Yogita Goyal, Professor of English and African American Studies, University of California Los Angeles

Eleni Coundouriotis, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Connecticut

Kerry Bystrom, Associate Dean, Bard College Berlin


Moderator: Sarah Winter, Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Connecticut


12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. LunchWilbur Cross Reading Room
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Biomedical Technologies and Human Rights: Conceptual, Ethical and Legal Considerations

Emerging biomedical technologies, such as genetic engineering but also applications of artificial intelligence in medicine and healthcare, provide exciting new opportunities for improving human health and well-being. At the same time, they may create substantial ethical and legal challenges and the rapid pace of innovation makes responsible governance of these technologies increasingly complex. In this panel, we shall highlight some of the most pressing ethical and legal concerns and discuss possible approaches to more adaptive governance and regulation.



Fruzsina Molnar-Gabor, Professor of Law and BioQuant, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences

Molly Land, Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law

Thomas Burri, Associate Professor of International and European Law, St. Gallen University, Switzerland


Moderator: Sebastian Wogenstein, Associate Professor of German Studies, University of Connecticut


3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Closing Celebration & Reception


8:00 p.m. Death and the Maiden, a co-production written by Ariel Dorfman, directed by Gary English, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, 802 Bolton Road, Storrs, CT 06269

Together with Connecticut Repertory Theatre, HRI co-sponsored the production of Death and the Maiden. Conference participants are invited to attend the production on Friday March 31, 2023. For more information and to purchase a ticket from the box office, visit Connecticut Repertory Theater’s website:  


Death and the Maiden deals with the conflict between justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of human rights abuses. After a chance meeting with her alleged attacker, Paulina Salas demands justice for past crimes on a personal level, which illustrates the difficulty of victims living within the same country as those who committed atrocities.



Digital Program

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From Crisis to Activism: The Human Right to Adequate Food in the 1970s

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dodd Center for Human Rights - Room 162

About This Event:

How did the human right to adequate food figure in an intersection of U.S. foreign and domestic politics in the 1970s? This presentation will address the joint history of human rights principles and neoliberal economics in the response of state and non-state actors to global food insecurities. This subject poses questions about the principles and politics that formulated modern concepts of resource distribution and access to the most basic necessities of life.

About The Presenter:

David L Evans is a doctoral candidate in U.S. foreign relations history at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on the formulation and global politics of economic, social, and cultural human rights, and specifically the human right to adequate food. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., David earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before entering academia, he served eight years in the United States Marine Corps where he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines, and Japan.


This event will take place in-person in the
Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162.

We kindly ask that you register to join us.



David L Evans
Department of History
University of Connecticut

The History of Human Rights and Humanitarianism Colloquium is a space for interdisciplinary dialogue on issues that require perspectives and expertise from multiple fields. Contributors represent the fields of history, art history, literature, critical theory, philosophy, political theory, anthropology, sociology, and law.

Understanding the Effectiveness of State and Worker-Led Efforts to Combat Forced Labour in Supply Chains

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Virtual Event

About This Workshop:

The Business and Human Rights Workshop is dedicated to the development and discussion of works-in-progress and other non-published academic research. 

Multi-national corporations’ (MNCs) responsibility for human rights abuse within global supply chains, including forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery is increasingly recognised in international standards including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, United Nations Global Compact, and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, there is mounting evidence that voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) mechanisms—such as supplier codes of conduct, ethical certification, and social auditing—widely relied upon to uphold human rights in supply chains are failing. In light of these failures, governments and worker organizations are pioneering alternatives, including home state legislation—through which the home states of MNCs introduce top-down requirements for more meaningful changes in corporate behaviour— and new legally binding transnational supply chain agreements called worker-driven social responsibility (WSR) initiatives, which exert bottom-up pressure to change commercial practices. There is considerable optimism that these twin developments are creating a new wave of regulation to address forced labour and overlapping abuses in global supply chains. How can we best study the effectiveness of these mechanisms and their interactions?


Genevieve LeBaron
School of Public Policy
Simon Fraser University


Rachel Chambers
School of Business
University of Connecticut

This workshop will take place on Zoom and will not be recorded. Please register to attend.

This event is hosted by the Business & Human Rights Initiative, a partnership between Dodd Human Rights Impact, the UConn School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute. It is co-sponsored by the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights in the Human Rights Institute.

Colloquium Series: Critical, Community-Engaged Medical Anthropology

October 17, 24, & 31, 2022
12:30pm - 1:45pm
In-person & online

About the Series:

Join us for one or all lectures in this three-part series on "Critical, Community-Engaged Approaches in Medical Anthropology," sponsored by the Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights. We invite participants to read the pre-circulated readings accessible here via the Homer Babbidge Library. Check below for details on the three events by experts in the field.

Join us!

We kindly ask that you register to attend
regardless of the modality you will join.

Lunch will be served for in-person participants.

Beach Hall - Room 404
UConn Department of Anthropology

Please register for Zoom details


Multi-gazed Ethnographies: Community Photographs and Narratives of the Heroin Epidemic in Colombia
Monday, October 17, 2022 | 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Camilo Ruiz (UConn, as of January 2023)

Activists/Scholars from Latin America at the Intersection of Medical Anthropology & Social Medicine
Monday, October 24, 2022 | 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
César Abadía-Barrero (UConn)

Grassroots Collaborative Ethnography & Archival Activism as Human Rights Research Strategies
Monday, October 31, 2022 | 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Katherine A. Mason (Brown University), Heather Wurtz (UConn & Brown), and Sarah Willen (UConn)

Reading List

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The Financial Case for Systemic Social Change

Thursday, October 27, 2022
5:00pm - 6:15pm
In Person Event

UConn School of Business - Room 321

About This Forum:

The social and environmental challenges of today—climate change, income inequality, modern slavery and human trafficking, systemic racism, the human costs of war, the COVID-19 pandemic, among othersare complex and interconnected issues. The systemic nature of these challenges poses risks to investors across their portfolios. They also provide opportunities for investors to think about impact systemically in a manner that promotes sustainability and respect for human rights while also adding to the bottom line. Join us for a presentation and discussion with representatives of The Investment Integration Project (TIIP), a leader in system-level investing.



Stephen Park
Co-Director, Business and Human Rights Initiative
Associate Professor of Business Law

Rachel Chambers
Co-Director, Business and Human Rights Initiative
Assistant Professor of Business Law

William (Bill) Burckart
CEO, The Investment Integration Project (TIIP)

More about Bill Burckart

William (Bill) Burckart is the CEO of The Investment Integration Project (TIIP), an applied research and consulting services firm that helps investors manage systemic risks and opportunities. He is also co-founder of Colorful Capital, which is bringing capital support and scaffolding to enterprises founded and led by members of the broad LGBTQIA+ community, and a Fellow of the High Meadows Institute. He previously served as a member of the advisory council of the Investments & Wealth Institute’s WealthBoard 100 and as a visiting scholar at the U.S. Federal Reserve. He is the co-author of “21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change” (Berrett-Koehler, 2021) and co-editor of “New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Guide to the New Tools and New Actors that Are Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing” (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is a founder or co-founder of two impact investment advisory firms, Burckart Consulting and Impact Economy LLC. His writing and perspective has been featured in Barron’s, Bloomberg, Pensions & Investments, The Guardian, Forbes, Quartz, top1000funds, Investment & Pensions Europe (I&PE), Benefits & Pensions, InvestmentNews, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), ImpactAlpha, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and FundFire to name a few.

Kilian Moote
Managing Director, Georgeson

More about Kilian Moote

Kilian Moote is a Managing Director within Georgeson’s ESG advisory practice, where he is building the firm’s ESG advisory practice. As a social entrepreneur he has helped develop and managed numerous initiatives or organizations at the intersection of purpose and profit.

Kilian has 15 years of experience working with executives and investors on human and labor rights, including leading the development of the labor rights benchmark KnowTheChain and launching two collaborative funds – Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy and Moving the Market. Prior to joining Georgeson, Kilian developed and managed strategies on corporate accountability and public policy for the private foundation Humanity United. He has deep expertise on responsible supply chain management, having previously taught an MBA course at the University of San Francisco. As a leading advocate on social and human capital issues he’s frequently called on to provide guidance. He is currently advising The Investment Integration Project and involved in various effort to enhance human capital management and human rights standards. Kilian earned an MBA with Distinction from the Imperial College Business School in London and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco.

This forum will be hosted in person. Please register to join us. This event will not be recorded.

This event is hosted by the Business & Human Rights Initiative, a partnership between Dodd Human Rights Impact, the UConn School of Business, and the Human Rights Institute.

2022 Malka Penn Award Ceremony

November 1, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
In-person with Livestream
Reception to Follow

The Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature

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. Named in honor of author Michele Palmer, who writes under the pseudonym Malka Penn, the award recognizes works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, or biography which are written for children from preschool to high school. 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 2022 Malka Penn Award will be presented to author Wade Hudson on November 1, 2022 in the Dodd Center for Human Rights. Hudson will speak about his career, the inspiration behind his memoir Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow Southand the founding of his and wife Cheryl Hudson's publishing outlet Just Us Books. Following the ceremony will be a reception with light refreshments, copies of the winning book available for purchase, and time reserved for book signings by the author.

About the 2022 Award Recipient – Wade Hudson

Author Wade HudsonWade Hudson, author of Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South, founded Just Us Books in 1988 with Cheryl Willis Hudson. Wade serves as president and CEO of the company. His career as a writer spans more than three decades and has resulted in more than 25 published books for children and young adults. They include Book of Black Heroes from A to Z, Jamal's Busy Day, Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children, Powerful Words: Two Years of Outstanding Writing by African Americans, the Great Black Heroes series, The Underground Railroad and The Two Tyrones.

Wade serves on a number of community boards and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Pen America. He speaks around the country about issues of inclusion, empowering Black boys to succeed through literacy and other topics. He has received numerous honors for his contributions to children's literature, including the Stephen Crane Literary Award, induction into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, the Harlem Book Fair Phyllis Wheatley Award (2007), the Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation.  He is co-editor with his wife of the anthologies, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, The Talk, Conversations About Race, Love & Truth and Recognize: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life. Kirkus Reviews called his recent coming-of-age memoir, Defiant, Growing up in the Jim Crow South a “powerful testimony from a children’s literature legend.”

Join us!

We kindly ask that you register to attend to join us for the in-person ceremony.

Ceremony: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Dodd Center for Human Rights - Konover Auditorium

Reception to Follow
Dodd Center for Human Rights - Lounge
Refreshments & Book Signing

Access to the livestream of the ceremony is available here from 5:00 pm November 1, 2022. Livestream

Encounters Series – Fall 2022 Program

About the Program:

Through the Democracy and Dialogues Initiative, UConn is working to increase democratic and civic capacity by supporting community dialogues on critical issues, providing moderator and facilitation training for dialogues and deliberations, and partnering with campus colleagues and local institutions to increase meaningful participation by all community members.

The Encounters Series is dedicated to fostering unexpected conversations around divisive issues and obscure knowledge. The program dives deeply into subjects that are of interest to the Greater Hartford community through facilitated, small-group dialogues followed by a question-and-answer style conversation with our UConn faculty and community partners. Resources are provided beforehand to encourage informed and informal dialogue within conversations that may otherwise prove to be polarizing, and thus unproductive. The aim is to strengthen our ability to know ourselves and to develop a forum for respectful and challenging dialogue. 

Our partners in this Encounters Series include the Hartford Public Library, Connecticut's Old State House, the HartBeat Ensemble, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Connecticut Humanities, and many valuable others. The Democracy & Dialogues Initiative is part of Dodd Human Rights Impact and supported at UConn by the Office of Global Affairs, the Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Humanities Institute, UConn Extension, and the Division of Student Affairs’ Parent's Fund.

Join us!

You are warmly invited to take part in this series of interactive dialogues. To participate, please register below.

October 12 – HartBeat Encounters: ‘My Children! My Africa!’

HartBeat Encounters: 'My Children! My Africa!'
Hosted by the HartBeat Ensemble
Wednesday, October 12. 5:30 pm-7:30 pm ET
The Carriage House Theater
360 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105

Register in advance for this event:

Please join us for Encounters: 'My Children! My Africa!,' a special dialogue event that features small group discussions on critical questions about the play, as well as specialist feedback and engagement. A light dinner will be served from 5:30 pm. Please note it is not required that you attend the show in order to participate in this community conversation. All participants are welcome and there is no cost to register or attend.

October 22 – Encounters: The Global Reach of the Local Talcott Church

The Global Reach of the Local Talcott Church
Hosted by Connecticut's Old State House
Saturday, October 22. 10:00 am-12:00 pm ET
Connecticut's Old State House
800 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103

Register in advance for this event:

This guided community conversation, led by Dr Fiona Vernal, will use the Mars family as a lens for exploring how the congregants of Talcott Street Church cast their advocacy far and wide and weighed in on the emigration debates. This allows us insight into the wider network of the Mars family—particularly, Elizabeth Mars and her years of service in Liberia. It will also allow us to understand the relationship between the Connecticut Colonization society, the Hartford Female African Society, and the Charitable Society in the African Sunday School. These are important lenses for understanding the Christian missionary impulse in the Talcott Church as well as the role of black women as organizers and leaders. Hartford participated in the “The African Mission School” established at Trinity College, which was described as a “short-lived effort on behalf of Connecticut Episcopalians to develop a black leadership for the church in Liberia.”

October 26 – Encounters: Intimate Partner Violence: The Alyssiah Wiley Program

Intimate Partner Violence: The Alyssiah Wiley Program
Hosted by the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative, the UConn Women's Center, & Eastern Connecticut State University
Wednesday, October 26. 1:00 pm-3:00 pm ET
UConn Women's Center, Student Union, 4th Floor Room 421
2110 Hillside Road, Unit 3118, Storrs, CT 06269

Register in advance for this event:

Domestic Violence is a pervading issue across our world. During the fiscal year of 2021, 38,989 people sought Domestic Violence Services in our state of Connecticut alone. We know this number does not actually reflect the entire amount of people who endured DV last year, as violence often goes unreported. We need to shatter the silence. Connect with us for a community dialogue and engage in crucial conversations on the impacts of Domestic Violence, healing and bystander intervention. Food will be provided and participation is free. Registration is required. This dialogue is hosted by UConn’s DDI and The Alyssiah Wiley Program.

UConn’s DDI‘s events bring people together for courageous conversations about issues that impact our communities and world. The Alyssiah Wiley Program is in memory of Alyssiah Wiley, who was a vibrant soul studying psychology at Eastern who gave her whole heart into everything. This program works to shed a light on Domestic Violence and create social change. Join us in educating ourselves about this critical issue through a short video presentation, small group discussion with facilitators, and engagement with experts in domestic violence services.

November 16 – Encounters: Picturing the Pandemic: Voices from the Pandemic Journaling Project

Encounters: Picturing the Pandemic: Voices from the Pandemic Journaling Project
Hosted by the Hartford Public Library
Wednesday, November 16. 5:00 pm-7:00 pm ET
Hartford Public Library - Downtown Branch
500 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103

Register in advance for this event:

Join us as we take a closer look at the Picturing the Pandemic and Hartford 2020 exhibitions that speak to people's documentation of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be having guided small group discussions and a Q&A session with content specialists. A light dinner will follow for participants.

November 19 – Encounters: Art, Activism, and AIDS

Encounters: Art, Activism, and AIDS
Hosted by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Saturday, November 19. 10:00 am-1:00 pm ET
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103

Register in advance for this event:

The AIDS epidemic has touched communities both in Hartford and around the globe and artists have played a key role in helping to reshape the narrative in response to stigmatization, a lack of public education, and government inaction surrounding the virus. In advance of the World AIDS Day conversation on December 1 at the Wadsworth with Jack Lowery, author of It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful which documents the history of activist art collective Gran Fury, join us for a group conversation at the intersection of art and activism. Participants will discuss the role that art and design play in activism, mobilization, and community education in response to the AIDS epidemic. This event is free to attend. Lunch will be provided. 

December 3 – Encounters: The Constitution of Connecticut

The Constitution of Connecticut
Hosted by Connecticut's Old State House
Rescheduled date: Saturday, December 3. 10:00 am-12:00 pm ET
Connecticut's Old State House
800 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103

Register in advance for this event: 

We invite you to explore the concept of 'Constitution' through a look into Connecticut's constitutional history. Our state is known by many names, including the Nutmeg State and the Land of Steady Habits. But its official nickname is, of course, the Constitution State. From the Fundamental Orders of 1639, which some historians argue was the first American constitution, to the current state constitution passed in 1965, Connecticut has had many different documents serve as the basis of our state government. They define the powers and limits of elected officials, establish how new laws are made, and list the basic rights of all citizens. But what constitutes a constitution? How do constitutions affect the daily lives of citizens? What fundamental principles does a constitution need to meet to be legitimate? Join us in dissecting these issues through short readings, small group discussion, and engagement with specialists on the subject.

Lunch will follow for all participants.

Lead a Dialogue!

We are always looking for more facilitators and moderators to help support the Encounters Series. If you are interested in getting involved, register for one of our trainings!

September 29 – Facilitator Training

Facilitator Training
Hosted by the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative
Thursday, September 29. 1:00 pm-3:00 pm ET
Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162
405 Babbidge Rd., Storrs, CT 06269

Register in advance for this training:

Facilitators are fundamentally important to running a successful dialogue. They are the folks who work with the small breakout groups and keep the conversation moving and productive. Want to learn more about the theory and practice of facilitation? Join us in person at the Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162, on the UConn Storrs campus.

October 19 – Moderator Training

Moderator Training
Hosted by the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative
Wednesday, October 19. 1:00 pm-3:00 pm ET
Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162
405 Babbidge Rd., Storrs, CT 06269

Register in advance for this training:

The role of moderators is to run or direct a dialogue. This is the "emcee" position and the person serving in it walks participants from welcome to closing. They manage the structure and timing of the event and provide support to the facilitators. And they are always in demand! Join us in person at the Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162, on the UConn Storrs campus.

December 5 – Facilitator Training

Facilitator Training
Hosted by the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative
Monday, December 5. 1:00 pm-3:00 pm ET
Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162
405 Babbidge Rd., Storrs, CT 06269

Register in advance for this training:

Facilitators are fundamentally important to running a successful dialogue. They are the folks who work with the small breakout groups and keep the conversation moving and productive. Want to learn more about the theory and practice of facilitation? Join us in person at the Dodd Center for Human Rights, Room 162, on the UConn Storrs campus.