Civics Education and Democracy Today: Bringing Human Rights Close Home

10 December 2021  03:00 - 04:30

Virtual Event | Organised by Dodd Impact, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut | Held in United States / Connecticut in English
Contact details: [email protected]
Advancing respect for human rights
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On December 10, 1948 the fledgling United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a “common standard of achievement” for all nations to work together toward equal dignity and justice for all. Slowly recovering from the catastrophe of the Second World War and the atrocities of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity, the Universal Declaration presented a vision of an alternative future where human equality, solidarity, and potential were realized. Seventy-three years later, we are still far from that future, and, in some ways, the vision itself has come under assault as democratic ideals and institutions face resurgent challenge from authoritarians and supremacists.

Today, as we face renewed challenges to human rights at home and abroad, we are honored to be joined by the United States Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, to discuss how our students, teachers, schools, and universities can advance democracy and human rights. In particular, we’ll explore how to better foster student voice and democratic participation through civics, human rights education and school-community partnerships. Hosted by Professor Jason Irizarry, Dean of the Neag School of Education, and moderated by Assistant Professor Glenn Mitoma, Director for the Human Rights Institute Dodd Impact Programs Director, Sec. Cardona will open the dialogue, featuring former Senator Chris Dodd, Conard High School teacher Abigail Esposito, UConn Teacher Education student Tyler Green, and Capital Region Education Council Civic Leadership High School student Zoe Maldonado.


  • Miguel Cardona, United States Secretary of Education
  • Christopher J. Dodd, Former United States Senator
  • Dr. Jason Irizarry, Dean, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
  • Dr. Glenn Mitoma, Director, Dodd Impact, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut
  • Abigail Esposito, Teacher, Conard High School, West Hartford Connecticut
  • Tyler Gleen, Teacher Education Student (’22), Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
  • Zoe Maldonado, student (’23), Civic Leadership High School, Capitol Region Education Council