Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
By Glenn Mitoma, University of Connecticut
From August 1-5, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut hosted the first Upstander Academy, a professional development institute to teachers interested in teaching human rights, genocide, and intellectual humility. Sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation as part of the UConn Humanities Institute's "Humility and Conviction in Public Life" project, the Academy was co-designed Dodd Center Director Glenn Mitoma and Upstander Project's Mishy Lesser and Adam Mazo, and offered educators the opportunity to explore new approaches to teaching the Rwandan Genocide and cultural genocide of Native Americans in North America.
Over 25 participants from New England high and middle schools, as well as the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center worked together with facilitators, including Maine Wabanaki - State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner gkisedtanamouk, on identifying strategies to foster open-mindedness, intellectual humility, and upstanding in students and museum visitors.
Participants had the opportunity to explore these topics through the Upstander Project's films, Coexist on the Rwandan reconciliation process, and First Light a short documentary on the Maine-Wabanaki TRC, as well as consider human rights education approaches to classroom pedagogy and inquiry.
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