Past Events

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Rwanda’s Restorative Journey: Living Alongside Your Enemy

Tuesday, January 24, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Konover Auditorium
The Dodd Center for Human Rights 

About This Event:

Three days into the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi, Carl and Teresa Wilkens made the heart wrenching decision that she would take their young children to safety, and he would stay at their home in Kigali and try to help. Neither had any idea that during the next 100 days more than a million people would be slaughtered, often by their neighbors.

Through the sharing of first-hand accounts of the catastrophic 1994 genocide and the country’s rebuilding journey that followed, Carl will discuss restorative justice and practices and engage us in guided conversations about what those practices mean today, particularly in the realm of rebuilding trust.

Join Us:

This event is in-person only in the Konover Auditorium of The Dodd Center for Human Rights. All are welcome!
Register Here.

It is co-sponsored by UConn Global Affairs, the Center for Judaic Studies & Contemporary Jewish Life, and Dodd Human Rights Impact.

About Carl Wilkens

As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens was one of two Americans who refused to leave Rwanda as thousands of expatriates and UN soldiers fled the country in the face of what is now known as the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. Working together with Rwandan colleagues they brought food, water, and medicine to orphans trapped around the city.

These days Wilkens travels around the globe using the transformative process of storytelling and restorative practices to explore topics such as polarization, harmful conflict, and belonging. He is the Co-founder and Director of World Outside My Shoes.

"I'm Not Leaving"

In advance of the event, we encourage you to watch the 40-minute documentary, I'm Not Leaving, available in full & free on YouTube.

This 40-minute documentary shares snapshots of the genocide through the eyes of Carl and his wife Teresa along with: Gasigwa, a courageous Rwandan colleague whose home became a safe-house, Laura from the US Embassy who wrestled with Washington, DC to not abandon their mission, and Phil, one of the handful of UN peacekeepers who volunteered to stay in Rwanda and were tenuously hanging on to save lives. Their gut-wrenching choices and unexpected alliances formed during the 100 days of slaughter leave us with a surprising sense of hope and agency.

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

Exhibition Closing Reception: Madeline Baird on ‘Embodied Borders’

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Dodd Lounge
The Dodd Center for Human Rights 

About This Event:

We welcome you to join us for a closing reception to celebrate and discuss the most recent exhibition in the hall of The Dodd Center for Human Rights with the photographer. Madeline Baird's 'Embodied Borders' reveals the human toll of the exportation of U.S. border enforcement through a series of captivating photographs.

Madeline Baird is a PhD student in Anthropology at UConn. Prior to enrolling at UConn, Madeline earned an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and worked for a decade supporting public health program design and community-based research. Her current research employs ethnographic methods to explore constructions of health inequity, human rights, and healing in Latin America.

Join Us:

This event is in-person only in the lounge of The Dodd Center for Human Rights.

Light snacks & refreshments will be served.

No registration is necessary. All are welcome!

About the Exhibition:

In recent decades, the extension of U.S. immigration and border enforcement policies to countries in Central America increasingly pressures migrant populations seeking refuge in the U.S. to travel the most remote and dangerous passages to the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2022, more than 200,000 migrants traversed the Darien Gap known to be one of the most dangerous sections of the journey through Central America. This series of photographs documents the embodied impact of the exportation of U.S. border enforcement 2,500 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border for migrants in transit through Panama.

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

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.

Ordinary Curators at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
The Dodd Center for Human Rights - Room 162
In Person & Online

About This Event:

This talk will draw on a companion article to Christine Sylvester's recent book Curating and Re-Curating the American War in Vietnam and Iraq (Oxford, 2019). Published in the International Relations journal Security Dialogue, “Curating and Re-Curating the American War in Vietnam” (2018) explores the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington as a "museum" site where "ordinary curators" authorize themselves to re-curate the war to put mortality --not state, honor or soldier heroism –at the heart of it. The piece mixes elements of new museum thinking with consideration of object assemblages composed and left at the Memorial, as well as the personal memories Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk curates into a museum to lost love in his novel The Museum of Innocence (2008). It challenges a field known for abstract theory to humanize its knowledge base by noticing ordinary civilians re-curating inherited versions of war.

Join us!

This event will take place in-person
in The Dodd Center for Human Rights.

It will likewise be available online
on Zoom. Please register regardless
of the modality you plan to join.

About Christine Sylvester:

Christine Sylvester is sole author of 7 books on International Relations, among them Art/Museums: International Relations Where We Least Expect It (Routledge), Feminist International Relations: An Unfinished Journey (Cambridge) and Producing Women and Progress in Zimbabwe (Heinemann). She has held the Swedish Research Council’s Kerstin Hesselgren Professorship, a Leverhulme fellowship at SOAS University of London, and was an Eminent Scholar of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association. She was named one of Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations (Griffiths, Roach, Solomon), and today’s article was among 20 pieces recognized for pushing academic boundaries of security thinking over the 50-year history of Security Dialogue (M. Murphy, 2020).

The Research Program on Arts & Human Rights explores how the arts can promote the full exercise of human rights and the consolidation of a democratic culture. It is a proud collaboration between the Human Rights Institute and the School of Fine Arts.

Civic Engagement: Our Collective Responsibility to Participate in Democracy

Thursday, December 8, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Konover Auditorium
The Dodd Center for Human Rights 

About This Event:

In a time of unprecedented partisanship and political divisiveness, what role do we all as individuals play in fostering/cultivating a robust democracy with respect for human rights? Join us to consider these and other questions about the central role of civic engagement in the United States today. 

Opening remarks will be delivered by former Senator Chris Dodd. Special guest Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut will be joining us from Washington. Professor and President Emeritus Susan Herbst will serve as moderator.

This discussion is made possible by Travelers.

At Capacity

Thank you for your interest in joining us! We have unfortunately reached the seating capacity for the room. If you would still like to still attend, we will happily accept walk-ins for any remaining available seats when the event begins.

About Christopher J. Dodd:

Christopher J. 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.

About Chris Murphy:

Chris Murphy, United States Senator for Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families. Senator Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for affordable health care, sensible gun laws and a forward-looking foreign policy. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has been an outspoken proponent of diplomacy, international human rights and the need for clear-eyed American leadership abroad. Murphy currently serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism.

 

About Susan Herbst:

Susan Herbst is Professor of Political Science and UConn President Emeritus.  She is author of many books and articles about public opinion, media and American democracy.  Her recent book, A Troubled Birth:  The 1930s and American Public Opinion (University of Chicago Press, 2021) explores our sustained struggle to understand the nature and role of popular sentiment in the United States.

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

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 humanrights@uconn.edu.

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.

Location:

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.

 

Presenter:

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.

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.

Presenters:

Moderators:

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.