Educational Events & Trainings

Fall 2019 Events

Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook - Dinner, Discussion, Dialogue

Date: Monday, November 18, 2019
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Location: Lodewick Visitors's Center

One person, one vote.

Such is the ideal of the continuing experiment in democracy that is the United States of America.

However, in recent years, gerrymandering, redistricting, ID laws, and other such tactics have been used to successfully disenfranchise many American voters, effectively silencing their democratic voices.

Come and learn more about this at Community Outreach Dialogue Initiative's screening of Rigged - The Voter Suppression Playbook, an acclaimed documentary that delves deep into this phenomenon, which will be followed by an open dialogue and discussion.

Dinner will be served.

There will also be the opportunity to register as a voter.

And as ever, all voices are welcome!

Please RSVP via UConntact at:

See you then!

NB: This is an approved Honors Event

Work, Luck, or Love - A Dialogue on Legal Immigration in the United States

Date: Monday, 21st October 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Koons (KNS) 202

With all the fraught talk of undocumented migrants, refugees, border walls, “extreme vetting” among other aspects ascribed to immigration to and in the United States, Legal Immigration often seems forgotten, an afterthought, lost between the cracks that fracture opinions and policy on immigration.

And yet, as award-winning comedian and commentator John Oliver recently put it, there are currently only three legal ways to immigrate to America: “Work, Luck, or Love.”

Join Community Outreach’s Democracy and Political Engagement Initiative for a dialogue on Legal Immigration to the United States of America, during which we will delve together in detail into all these, as well as share thoughts and ideas, opinions and options, on Legal Immigration.  Do come welcome to learn from as well as to educate each other.

Dinner – gourmet pizza! – will be served from 5:30pm.

There will also be the opportunity to register as a voter.

And as ever, all voices are welcome!

Please RSVP via UConntact at:

See you then!

Women's Equality, Women's Rights - A Dialogue on the Equal Rights Amendment

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Oak 111

The Equal Rights Amendment seeks to enshrine in that most hallowed of American documents, the Constitution, the basic - and long past due - principle that:

"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

However, almost half a century after initially sailing through much of the ratification process, it remains mired in legal limbo.  In that same timeframe, although women's rights and women's equality have taken steps forward, equality for women in the American workplace, sports, society, and other facets of life is not just missing from the Constitution, but from reality.

Community Outreach invites you to join us for a dialogue on Women's Rights and Women's Equality in America, as well as the Equal Rights Amendment.  With a panel of experts drawn from academia, activism, and athletics, it is bound to be as informative and instructive as it will be interactive.  Please come open to teach as well as to learn.

Dinner - 'A Taste of Bombay' - will be served from 5:30pm.

There will also be an opportunity to register as a voter.

As ever, all views are welcome!

Please RSVP via

Previous Events – Spring 2019

Life on Parole - Film Screening and Discussion

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Center

Join us for a special screening of the PBS Frontline/New York Times documentary Life on Parole.  The film examines efforts in Connecticut to change the way parole works and reduce the number of people returning to prison.  The film follows four recently incarcerated individuals as they navigate their first year on parole.

Post-show discussion will feature perspectives from different sides of this issues, including that of someone previously on parole.

This is an approved Honors event

Co-sponsored by
Community Outreach
Human Rights Institute
Humanities Institute
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Verdict - A Dialogue on Incarceration in the United States

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Gentry 140

Laws, opinion, and bias all play a role in our correctional system.

This can lead to pain, stigma, trauma, and the definite need for reform.

Please join Community Outreach's Dialogue Initiatives as we discuss mass incarceration in the United States. We will engage in civil dialogue on factors such as the origins of mass incarceration, punishment vs. correction, and prison systems abroad (e.g. Norway, Japan, Britain, Canada, Germany). We will also discuss many other factors and realities of the criminal "justice" system. 

This will be a very interactive and collaborative program. However, please do not feel timid or shy about the participation aspect. We welcome everyone, even if you'd prefer to just observe and learn. 

We hope to see you there! 



RBG - Documentary, Dinner, Discussion

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Gentry 140

"At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG explores Ginsburg's life and career."

Join the Political Engagement Program on March 28th from 5:30-8pm in Oak 101, to celebrate the notorious RBG's 86th birthday in fashion with the first campus screening of RBG over dinner, followed by a discussion.

Vegeterian pasta, chicken parmesan, salad, drinks, and dessert will be served.

Contact Amy Saji at to request an accommodation and for additional information.


A Conversation With W. Kamau Bell

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Location: Infinity Hall, Hartford, CT

'W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. He recently made his Netflix debut with a new stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro. Kamau has a book with the easy-to-remember title The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. He is the director of the critically-acclaimed documentary Cultureshock: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain. Kamau has hosted three critically acclaimed podcasts: Kamau Right Now!, Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and Donors Choose and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”'

Community Outreach's Dialogues Initiative is providing free tickets, as well as complimentary transportation to and from the event, where "Kamau Bell will bring his signature comedic style to an in-depth and unscripted conversation about activism and politics, race and diversity, pop culture and more. There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience. Moderated by Kelly Corrigan."

To book your place on the trip, please contact Hayley Rowe on

Previous Events – Fall 2018

One Vote Documentary Screening

Date: September 18th
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: ITE, C80

One Vote bears hopeful witness to the humanity and rich diversity of American voters, and to the unsung stories that comprise our exercise of democracy. It is an inspiring film that follows five diverse Americans on election day 2016. At times funny, surprising and heart-wrenching, the film eschews partisan politics in favor of an honest portrayal of voters' Election Day experiences.

This is an Honors approved event.

National Voter Registration Day

Date: September 25th

National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday celebrating our democracy. It was first observed in 2012 and has been growing in popularity every year since. Held on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day will be observed on Tuesday, September 25th this year. The holiday has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). It is further supported by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).

Pathways to Activism 

Date: Friday, October 19th
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Bousfield A106

Activism is NOT one major, resume, or background. Hear from activists in a variety of fields making meaningful impacts all around Connecticut.  Panels include:

  • Ayesah Clarke, MSW- Friends of Jahana Hayes Field Director and Hartford Board of Education
  • John Newman, ESQ.- Senior VP and General Counsel at Covenant Health Inc. & UConn Law Professor
  • Maddie Granato, MSW- Policy Manager at Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund
  • Kevin Bonson- Secretary of State's Executive Assistant & Deputy Communications Director

What Should We do About the Opioid Epidemic?

Date: October 22nd
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Rowe 122

Community Outreach’s Dialogue Initiatives will be hosting a deliberative forum focusing on the opioid epidemic. The purpose of a deliberative forum is to: focus on the options, consider all options fairly, and maintain an open and respectful atmosphere. We hope to encourage participation from students who aren’t too familiar on the opioid epidemic to those who consider themselves well-versed on the topic. We want this to be an experience where we can listen and learn from each other. The event is participant-focused and there will be facilitator-led small group discussions.

We will present three options for deliberation. The options are: Focus on Treatment for All, Focus on Enforcement, and Focus on Individual Choice. Each option has its advantages as well as drawbacks.

During this forum, we will also discuss the implications of the opioid epidemic on the state of Connecticut. Recently, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that the State of Connecticut is receiving over $20 million in federal funding to enhance the state’s efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic. We will also juxtapose the sympathy and action given to the opioid epidemic with other epidemics (such as cocaine or marijuana).

Register here:

Coming to America - A Dialogue on Immigration

Date: December 3rd, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Rowe 122

Community Outreach’s Dialogue Initiatives host a deliberative forum on the current immigration situation in the United States. The purpose of a deliberative forum is to: examine the given options, consider all of them fairly, and maintain an open and respectful atmosphere of discourse and learning. We encourage participation both by students who aren’t too familiar with immigration as well as those that consider themselves well-versed on the topic. We want this to be an experience where we listen to and learn from each other. The event is participant-focused, and there will be facilitator-led small group discussions.

We will present three options for deliberation:

  1. Welcome immigrants, be a beacon of freedom
  2. Enforce the law, be fair to those who follow the rules
  3. Slow down and rebuild our common bonds

This dialogue is particularly pertinent in light of current goings-on at the southern border, as well as the larger conversation on – and the long discussed and mooted overhaul of – the US immigration system.