Dodd Impact Events

Grit & Grace: The Fight for the American Dream

Monday, February 13, 2023
4:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Gen Re Auditorium
UConn Stamford 

About This Event:

Grit & Grace: The Fight for the American Dream is a groundbreaking documentary-style film produced by the 117th Congress's House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth and directed by Oscar Guerra, Associate Professor of Digital Media & Design at UConn Stamford. Narrated by EMMY® award-winning actress Sarah Jessica Parker, this first-of-its-kind movie features three true stories from across the country of what it means to find economic security in America, as well as the diverse paths people are taking to get there. 

The event will begin with a reception and remarks by UConn President Radenka Maric, former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, U.S. Representative Jim Himes, and Grit & Grace director Oscar Guerra. A full screening of the film will follow. After, community leaders from across Connecticut will join Representative Himes for a panel discussion and Q&A.

Join Us!

All are welcome! Registration is required.
This event is in-person only.

All attendees are encouraged to join us for a pre-screening reception, the Grit & Grace screening, and a post-show discussion at UConn Stamford.

This event was made possible by Dodd Human Rights Impact, the Department of Digital Media & Design, and UConn Stamford.

About Our Panelists

Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District in the United States House of Representatives. Jim was born in Lima, Peru, and moved to the United States with his mother and sisters at the age of 10. He worked extensively in the business and non-profit worlds before entering public service. He now lives in Cos Cob, Greenwich with his wife Mary and enjoys (not frequent enough) visits from his daughters Emma and Linley. As a member of Congress, Jim works hard to provide all American children the same opportunities he had to succeed: access to a first-rate public school, affordable and effective health care, a decent and safe home, and a supportive community.
Chris Dodd represented Connecticut in the United States Congress for 36 years – three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and five terms in the U.S. Senate. Senator Dodd was a widely respected legislator and a key participant in nearly every major national policy debate over his four decades of public service. He authored or co-authored major legislation in the areas of education, health, financial services, foreign policy, and election reform.
Marc Jaffe is the CEO of the Children's Learning Centers of Fairfield County. As the second largest early childhood education provider in Connecticut, CLC has been a leader in developing and implementing high-quality and affordable early childhood education and care programs since 1902. Marc came to the nonprofit sector after serving for more than twenty-five years as a senior publishing, licensing and technology executive where he honed strong management, strategic-planning and cross-platform business development skills.
Ivonne Zucco serves as the People and Culture Director of Building One Community, a Stamford-based nonprofit organization with the mission to advance the successful integration of immigrants and their families through education, employment, empowerment, and engaging the entire community.
Natalie Coard is the Executive Director of Charter Oak Communities. Charter Oak Communities (COC) is a progressive housing authority for the City of Stamford, Connecticut that is redefining assisted public housing through unique and comprehensive partnerships, creative funding models, and astute business practices coupled with a far-reaching vision. COC’s core functions include expanding affordable housing opportunities and promoting residents’ socioeconomic progress and growth. 
Fran Pastore is a devoted catalyst of women’s economic equity and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council. The mission of the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut.

About the Film’s Director

Oscar Guerra is an Emmy® award-winning director, researcher, and educator. He is an Associate Professor of Film and Video at the University of Connecticut and a producer at PBS FRONTLINE. Dr. Guerra’s focus is storytelling which promotes critical thinking and social investment. He aims to produce media that provides a way for underrepresented groups to share and disseminate counterstories, contradict dominant and potentially stereotypical narratives, and strengthen their voices and identities. Dr. Guerra’s career spans the spectrum of television environments, music, multimedia production, documentaries for social change, promotional videos, immersive media, and vast international experience.

Visitor Information:

Parking information for visitors to the UConn Stamford campus can be found here: UConn Stamford Parking.

Schedule:

4:30 - 5:30 pm: Doors Open & Reception
5:45 pm: Opening Remarks and Introduction
6:00 pm: Screening of Documentary
6:30 - 7:15 pm: Panel Discussion

Unable to join us?

The full documentary is available free online.

Grit & Grace Film Trailer:

Read the Report:

Commissioned by the former House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, Grit & Grace is a documentary illustrating the economic challenges facing American communities at a personal level. It is a groundbreaking companion to the detailed final report from the Committee, which set out to study solutions to address America’s growing prosperity gap at the national level.

Their findings and recommendations have been organized into a final report, Bridging the Divide: Building an Economy that Works for All, available below.

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If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact humanrights@uconn.edu.

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.

In-person:
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

Online:
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:
https://www.showclix.com/event/encounters-mcma

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:
https://bit.ly/2022HHS

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:
https://forms.gle/4GyHAdjQwML2xukeA

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:
https://hplct.libnet.info/event/7176888

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:
https://my.thewadsworth.org/33580/35359

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:
https://bit.ly/CTConstitutionEncounters 

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:
https://forms.gle/ADE7e7frDyNx1UmS7

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:
https://forms.gle/ADE7e7frDyNx1UmS7

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:
https://forms.gle/ADE7e7frDyNx1UmS7

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.

Stigma & Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Black September, Ethnic Enclaves, & New Venture Performance in Jordan

Monday, April 25, 2022
2:00pm - 3:15pm
Hybrid Event

Dodd Center for Human Rights - Room 162 & Zoom

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. Below find the abstract for a preview of the paper. Please register for a link to read Prof. Ryan Cole's paper, the focus of this workshop. 

Prior research on immigrant entrepreneurship has largely overlooked the difficulties faced by stigmatized immigrant groups and the strategies that such immigrant groups can undertake to improve new venture performance. To address this issue, we examine immigrant entrepreneurship in Jordan. We find that stigmatized immigrant entrepreneurs in Jordan are more negatively affected by government practices than native and non-stigmatized immigrant entrepreneurs. Moreover, we find that stigmatized entrepreneurs can partially mitigate these effects by founding their ventures in established ethnic enclaves where entrepreneurs can access brokers with social ties that can help overcome discrimination. Empirically, we examine this phenomenon using data on new venture performance of 8756 entrepreneurs in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from 2003 to 2013 and supplemented with 60 qualitative interviews.

Presenter:

Prof. Ryan Coles,
UConn School of Business

Discussant:

Prof. Michael Rubin,
UConn Human Rights Institute,
Schools of Engineering & Business

This workshop will be hosted both in-person and on Zoom. Please register regardless of the modality you wish to join. The workshop will not be recorded.

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

Human Rights Close to Home Youth Action Summit

May 18, 2022
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
In Person - UConn Storrs

About the Youth Action Summit

We're pleased to announce the first annual Human Rights Close to Home Youth Action Summit!

We are offering Connecticut students an opportunity to participate in the Youth Action Summit, a major event within the Human Rights Close to Home initiative, which aims to promote youth involvement and advocacy in human rights around Connecticut. This Youth Action 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. Our goal is to provide resources and support to all attendees so that they can continue fighting for their human rights in their communities long after the Summit concludes.

Throughout the Youth Action Summit, students will participate in workshops and meet a wide range of speakers, from professional human rights advocates to fellow youth activists. Whether you are a student or educator, we welcome you to participate.

At this time, the Youth Action Summit is open to Connecticut high school students only.
If you are an educator and are in need of transportation assistance, please contact Dr. Ian McGregor at ian.mcgregor@uconn.edu

Students & Teachers – Register Now!

Interested in attending the HRCH Youth Action Summit? Please register here by May 1, 2022.

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.

Youth Summit Sub-Themes

1) Youth In Action: Robert F. Kennedy said “Each time a man stands up for an idea, or strikes out against injustice, or acts to improve the lots of others, he sends a tiny ripple of hope …those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression…” The actions of individuals, no matter how small, matter in creating a world in which the rights of others are protected. 

2) Intersectional Human Rights: Human Rights are universal, yet everyone undergoes and brings to the table their own unique experiences and identities. Supporting human rights means more than just acknowledging, it means understanding and living out these intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability and more everyday. 

3) Defenders and Leaders Close To Home: Eleanor Roosevelt famously said that unless human rights have meaning in the “little places, close to home,” they have little meaning anywhere. Human Rights are not “over-there” issues and have as much meaning in the state of Connecticut as they do in countries on the other side of the world. 

4) Youth Teaching YouthStudents are frequently the best teachers! The sharing of student experiences contributes to the development of a more complex world view for a youthful generation. Engaging with the experiences of your peers helps to create a more knowledgeable and engaged generation of activists!

5) Get Up, Stand Up For Your Rights: It’s easy to lose faith these days. Looking for the bright spots amongst the dark; those people, groups or programs speaking and standing up to say “We will” and “We can” is important in creating a more just, equitable, human rights friendly world. 

HRCH Youth Advisory Team

Kevin Maysonet, Manchester High School
Emily Aubrey, Conard High School
Trisha Chennuru, Brookfield High School
Casey Pratt, Brookfield High School
Skylar Mattice, Brookfield High School
Shirin Unvala, Center for Global Studies, Brien McMahon High School
Aureliana Brown, Manchester High School
Lydia Griffin, Conard High School
Kyra Cummins, Brookfield High School
Bella De Souza, University of Connecticut
Henry Avery, Center for Global Studies, Brien McMahon High School
Parisa Arastu, Center for Global Studies, Brien McMahon High School
Hayat Yussuf, Brookfield High School
Katie McCluney, University of Connecticut
Samantha Gove, University of Connecticut

Past Youth Action Summits

Previous years of the CT Human Rights and Youth Action Summit can be viewed here.

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.

Dialogues for Common Ground: American Identity & Connecticut’s Civic Reconstruction

About the Program:

Democracy is a Connecticut tradition. The “Constitution State” has for centuries been a place of evolving civic life, and has often inspired and informed the national approach to the rights of individuals and the electoral process. The 21st century brings new challenges and opportunities to innovative political engagement: locally, the “Land of Steady Habits” is a racially and ethnically diverse, economically unequal, and politically decentralized state; nationally, our democracy is under pressure from polarization, disinformation, and even violence. How might Connecticut communities harness the state’s long history of political innovation and reconstruct robust civic practices to address our present moment and look to the future?

The “American Identity and Connecticut’s Civic Reconstruction” program brings the conversation back to first principles, to the founding of the American democratic experiment, and aims to foster meaningful and informed discussion around the values that form the basis of our nation. In doing so, it encourages everyone to learn more about our shared history and to value and participate in our democracy. These online participatory conversations will be run on the “Encounters” dialogue model; read more about it here.

Join us!

You are warmly invited to take part in a series of interactive explorations of critical documents of American identity and their role in our lives today: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

This program aims to foster meaningful and informed discussion around the values that form the basis of our national experience by bringing the conversation back to first principles, to the founding of the American democratic experiment. In doing so, it encourages us to learn more about our shared history and to value and participate in our democracy. To participate, please register below.

March 22 – The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
Hosted by Democracy & Dialogues Initiative
Tuesday, March 22. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register in advance for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEuceGhrj0oHdGDL_I83vMxzxBLvd4Ay-iv

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

April 5 – The Constitution

The Constitution
Hosted by the Old Connecticut State House
Tuesday, April 5. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register in advance for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvcOGoqDIjGdwOTaLCSltZQMhFIgxsYuWG

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

May 3 – The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
Hosted by the Hartford Public Library
Tuesday, May 3. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register here for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqc-GqrDsoHdN1j6x8PHigbGDPXPz6Srxi

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

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 UConn faculty and community partners.

The Democracy & Dialogues Initiative is part of Dodd Human Rights Impact and supported 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.

Dialogues for Common Ground: American Identity & Connecticut’s Civic Reconstruction

About the Program:

Democracy is a Connecticut tradition. The “Constitution State” has for centuries been a place of evolving civic life, and has often inspired and informed the national approach to the rights of individuals and the electoral process. The 21st century brings new challenges and opportunities to innovative political engagement: locally, the “Land of Steady Habits” is a racially and ethnically diverse, economically unequal, and politically decentralized state; nationally, our democracy is under pressure from polarization, disinformation, and even violence. How might Connecticut communities harness the state’s long history of political innovation and reconstruct robust civic practices to address our present moment and look to the future?

The “American Identity and Connecticut’s Civic Reconstruction” program brings the conversation back to first principles, to the founding of the American democratic experiment, and aims to foster meaningful and informed discussion around the values that form the basis of our nation. In doing so, it encourages everyone to learn more about our shared history and to value and participate in our democracy. These online participatory conversations will be run on the “Encounters” dialogue model; read more about it here.

Join us!

You are warmly invited to take part in a series of interactive explorations of critical documents of American identity and their role in our lives today: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

This program aims to foster meaningful and informed discussion around the values that form the basis of our national experience by bringing the conversation back to first principles, to the founding of the American democratic experiment. In doing so, it encourages us to learn more about our shared history and to value and participate in our democracy. To participate, please register below.

This series of dialogues is funded by Connecticut Humanities through the A More Perfect Union granting program of the National Endowment for the Humanities

March 22 – The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
Hosted by Democracy & Dialogues Initiative
Tuesday, March 22. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register in advance for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEuceGhrj0oHdGDL_I83vMxzxBLvd4Ay-iv

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

April 5 – The Constitution

The Constitution
Hosted by the Old Connecticut State House
Tuesday, April 5. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register in advance for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvcOGoqDIjGdwOTaLCSltZQMhFIgxsYuWG

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

May 3 – The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
Hosted by the Hartford Public Library
Tuesday, May 3. 6:00-8:00 pm ET

Register here for this event:
https://uconn-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqc-GqrDsoHdN1j6x8PHigbGDPXPz6Srxi

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the dialogue.

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 UConn faculty and community partners.

The Democracy & Dialogues Initiative is part of Dodd Human Rights Impact and supported 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.

Youth Seeking Refuge: U.S. Immigration Policy, Mobility Justice, & Children’s Rights

Monday, April 11, 2022
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Panel Discussion (In-person & Livestream)

Panel Discussion

Join Us!
On Monday April 11th, Dodd Impact, El Instituto, and the Human Rights Institute, in collaboration with Skidmore College, invite you to the opening of an exhibit on children’s art created in the MPP camp of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

To mark the opening of the exhibit, a panel of faculty and activists will discuss the current situation of children in refugee camps created by the United States’ “Remain in Mexico” policy, as well as pressing concerns of youth who have arrived in CT.

In person: The Colloquium will be hosted in the Konover Auditorium in the
Dodd Center for Human Rights - DODD 166.

Livestream: Join us online at 1:00pm via http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/uyrei
Joining us virtually? You can still submit a question for the Q&A by clicking here.

Speakers

Dr. Anne Gebelein, University of Connecticut

Dr. Anne Gebelein,  University of Connecticut
Associate Director of El Instituto and
Associate Professor in Residence, Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Dr. Gebelein received her doctorate, M. Phil., and Master’s in Hispanic Literatures from Yale University Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese. Prior to her position at UConn, she worked as an educational consultant for the Anti-Defamation League and the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, and as a translator in health care and law enforcement settings. Anne Gebelein teaches a wide variety of courses in Latino and Latin American Studies, with a focus on migration, human rights, and border studies. She is faculty Co-Chair of Service Learning for the university, the ECE coordinator for Latin American Studies, and she directs community outreach efforts for El Instituto.

Dr. Diana Barnes, Skidmore College

Dr. Diana Barnes, Skidmore College
Senior Teaching Professor of Spanish

Diana Barnes, PhD, is a Senior Teaching Professor at Skidmore College.  She began crossing the US/Mexico border as a toddler with her family at the San Ysidro point of entry near San Diego to visit her grandfather in Sonora, Mexico.  Over the decades, she has witnessed not only changes to the physical fence itself, but as well, the construct’s mythical, psychological, and political forces that project from the steel and concrete barrier.    Professor Barnes teaches courses about the US/Mexico border, as well as Spanish language & literature.  As a  life-long border crosser she holds a fundamental belief that the study of geographically contrived lines of division provides a unique critical lens into the state of humanity

Lucca Lucero de Alva, MPP Camp Ciudad Juárez

Lucca Lucero de Alva,
Volunteer teacher in MPP Camp, Ciudad Juárez;
World Organization for Peace representative

Born in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Lucero Claudia De Alva Fernandez is an industrial engineer by trade, currently pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration. She is the mother of 4 adult children--Daniela, Victoria Eugenia, Juan Pablo and Martha Isabel—and a business-owner. Her company, English Education Services, with provides English-Spanish translation, classes and interpreting services to the maquiladora industry since 1999.

Lucero is the author of the children's story "Pita y los girasoles" from which a peace project called "Sembrando Paz" (Sowing Peace) was born, through which she has been able to reach more than 50,000 children in schools in the state of Chihuahua and throughout the country, as well as some schools in the United States.

Since 2019 Lucero has been in charge of the "Children and Youth for Peace" program, a title awarded by the World Organization for Peace. In 2018 she was named "Distinguished Woman" of Juarez by the Ibero-American Women's Group and nominated for the title "Woman of the Year" by the group of professional women of Cd. Juarez.

Lucero is a dedicated volunteer and lover of the children of her city and the world. She volunteers in support of our migrant brothers and sisters, for whom she have been working since February 13, 2019, the day the first part of a caravan of migrants arrived in Ciudad Juarez. She have been part of the team that built the network of shelters for migrants, and feels fortunate to enable spaces within shelters that function as schools for the children who live in them, managing to get their education certified by the Federal Government (Secretary of Public Education).

Katia Daley, CT Students for a Dream

Katia Daley, CT Students for a Dream
Healthcare Campaign Organizer

Exhibition Debut – “Painting the Border: A Child’s Voice”

The youngest asylum seekers at our southern border have something to say about the U.S. policies that have left them stranded in one of the most dangerous cities in the world. See what happens when policy hits the ground in Ciudad Juarez, through the eyes of a child.

In all, thirty-two paintings make up the exhibit. Each is produced by children living in shelters or on the streets in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. They reveal images of young migrants’ homes, journeys, fears, and hopes.

Blue Image of Two Figures Embracing - Victoria de Alba, Ciudad Juárez y El Paso (21 years old)

Victoria de Alba, Ciudad Juárez y El Paso (21 years old)

View the Exhibit

The exhibit "Painting the Border: A Child's Voice" began as a project to offer a day of fun in a safe space to the youngest MPP recipients in Ciudad Juárez. The project was a collaborative effort initiated by Diana Barnes, a Skidmore College Senior Teaching Professor, and organized in Juárez by World Organization for Peace representative and children's author Lucero de Alva. El Paso muralist Cimi Alvarado worked with the young painters as well, teaching them about storytelling through art, and guiding them to paint their own stories.

The day of fun was held on August 21, 2019, months after the MPP was initiated, and less than three weeks after a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart, targeting Mexican shoppers and killing 23 people, including children. Some of the Juárez migrant children were aware of the deadly attack when they painted their fears of the violence that surrounded them.

The young artists, ages 4 - 18, were among the more than 71,000 asylum seekers stranded in Mexico border cities between January 2019 and January 2021, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. They were mainly from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Today, two and a half years after the paintings were produced, a Biden-era version of the MPP is still in place. Migrants continue to be refused entry under this policy and others, designed to reinforce a myriad of iterations of the wall that separates the United States from Mexico.

This event is sponsored by Dodd Impact, El Instituto, and the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut, with invaluable support from Skidmore College.

We welcome you to view the exhibit in-person at The Dodd Center for Human Rights beginning April 11, 2022.

Coupling & Coupling Compromises in Supplier Factories’ Responses to Worker Activism

Thursday, March 31, 2022
12:00pm - 1:15pm
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. Read below for the abstract of Prof. Jodi Short's upcoming paper, the focus of this workshop. 

Many companies have adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies in response to activist pressure, but ensuring the implementation of these policies is challenging. Recognizing the paucity of research on the effect of contentious activism on companies’ coupling of CSR policies and practices in the private politics and (de)coupling literatures, we posit that companies engage in “coupling compromises” when faced with such institutional pressure—improving their practices and more tightly coupling them with CSR policies in the domain contested by activists, but relaxing the coupling of policy and practice in competing CSR domains. Furthermore, we theorize that the nature and extent of coupling compromises can be explained by the interaction of activism with organizational structures that construct managerial perceptions of issue salience and internal frictions to change. We test our theory in the context of global supply chain factories’ compliance with CSR policies on working conditions when they face local worker activism. Analyzing 3,495 audits of 2,352 factories in 114 Chinese cities from 2012 to 2015, we find that worker activism over wages-and-benefits issues pushes factories to improve their wages-and-benefits practices and couple them more tightly with CSR policies, but these factories concurrently loosen the coupling between policy and practice in the domain of occupational health and safety. Both effects are stronger in factories with organizational structures that foreground the salience of wages and benefits issues and mitigate friction to changing organizational practices. These findings make significant contributions to the literatures on private politics, (de)coupling, and global supply chain labor practices.

Paper - Coupling & Coupling Compromises in Supplier Factories' Responses to Worker Activism

Access to the full paper is available in advance below, courtesy of Jodi Short and co-authors Yanhua Bird, Boston University Questrom School of Business, and Michael W. Toffel, Harvard Business School.

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Presenter:

Prof. Jodi Short, UC Hastings Law

Discussant:

Prof. Vivek Soundararajan, University of Bath

This event will not be recorded.

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

Russia’s Crackdown on Religious Minorities, Journalists, & Human Rights Defenders

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Virtual Event

About This Event:

Join us for a discussion on the escalating persecution of religious minorities, journalists, and human rights defenders currently under way in Russia. Over the past several years, Russian authorities have labeled Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremist” organizations and used anti-extremism laws to launch a campaign of arrests, harassment, and intimidation. During this event, we’ll explore the history and current reality of this case of religious persecution and hear first-hand accounts from community members.

Dr. Zoe Knox of the University of Leicester will deliver the keynote address, followed by reflections from targeted members of the Russian Jehovah's Witness community. Glenn Mitoma, Director of Dodd Impact, will moderate.

Keynote Speaker:

Zoe Knox is Associate Professor of Modern Russian History at the University of Leicester. Her research explores issues of religious tolerance and intolerance in the modern world, in Russia and beyond. Her publications include Russian Society and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia after Communism (Routledge, 2005); Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Secular World: From the 1870s to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Voices of the Voiceless: Religion, Communism, and the Keston Archive (Baylor University Press, 2019), co-edited with J. deGraffenried.

Panelists:

Dmitri Antsybor, Kirill Kravchenko, & Aleksandr Tsvetkov

Moderator:

Glenn Mitoma, Director of Dodd Impact

This event is virtual and will be hosted on Zoom. Click the link above to register to attend. This event may be recorded.