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7th Annual Human Rights Undergraduate Research Workshop

The Center for Human Rights and Social Justice at Illinois Wesleyan University is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring its fourth annual Human Rights Undergraduate Research Workshop from February 15 to February 17, 2019, ending with a morning breakfast on the 17th . This year’s theme Changing Climates and Human Rights Discourse, with a dual emphasis upon the ways in which human rights discourse has evolved and responded to contemporary political, social, and economic challenges and/or the ways in which our understandings of environmental justice are informed by what human rights entail. Our theme corresponds to the Illinois Wesleyan Annual theme for 2018-2019, “Changing Climates.” This two-day event will gather undergraduate students from liberal arts institutions to present their independent research related to this theme. In the spirit of the workshop setting, presentations will be informal and there will be ample room for dialogue among all participants. Faculty mentors are also encouraged to attend.

Changing Climates and Human Rights Discoure

Date: February 15th - February 17th

Abstract Deadline: Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Email abstracts to

  • Present your evolving research about how our understanding of human rights has changed, or how human rights informs our understanding of environmental justice.
  • Meet with professors and students from around the country to share and critique ideas over a two day period.
  • If accepted, all expense other than travel to and from Bloomington, Illinois will be paid for.

Schedule of Events

Friday,  February 15th

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Arrival and Check-In

Wilder House

5:00 - 5:15 PM

Welcome & Workshop Overview

Evelyn Chapel, Lower Level

  • Irv Epstein
    Director, Illinois Wesleyan University Center for Human Rights and Social Justice
5:15 - 6:15 PM

Dinner & Conversation

Evelyn Chapel, Lower Level

6:30 - 7:15 PM

Session A: Art + Activism = Artivisim

Merwin and Wakeley Galleries

  • Emily Chamernik, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Mike Luckovich: Syndicated Cartoonist Fighting Police Brutality)
  • Ray Loerke, Illinois Welseyan
    (Forming Leaders, Hip Hop and Speech: Richard Williams & Racism in America)
  • Sarah Ziwiski, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Women's Rights through Video Series, Featuring Liz Plank)

Extinguishing the Fire  exhibit by Tom Rice

7:30 - 8:45 PM

Session B: Climate Change: Effects, Policies, Prevention Strategies

SFH 108

  • Cora Egherman, Luther College
    (Climate Change and the Sami Peoples of Sweden and Norway)
  • Ismail Humaam Hamid, Luther College
    (Challenges to Implementing Climate Change Mitigation Policies in the Maldives)
9:00 PM

Ice Cream at Emack & Bolio's

Uptown Normal

Saturday, February 16th

8:15 AM

Coffee & Tea

SFH 101

8:30 - 9:45 AM

Session C: Local Economies, Globalization, Environmental Justice

SFH 108

  • Jake Ogata Bernstein, Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College
    (Human Proximity and Intervention on Mangrove Carbon Storage: Balancing Global and Local in Belize)
  • Chaepter Negro, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Terrace Degradation and Heirloom Rice Preservation in the Philippines)
10:00 - 10:15 AM
10:15 - 11:45 AM

Session D: Gender, Diversity and Social Justice

SFH 108

  • Becca Buse, Luther College
    (The Changing Social Climate of Abortion in the 21st  c.)
  • Ben Garcia, Southwestern University
    (The Changing Climate of Women's Suffrage in Western Europe and the United States)
  • Jenny Ly, Anna Mitroszewska, Mimi Nguyen, Rebecca Rochacz, Amanda Rogers, Jennipher Sanchez, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Religious and Spiritual Diversity of Registered Nurses in the United States)
12:00 - 1:00 PM

Lunch & Conversation

Faculty Dining Room, Memorial Center

1:15 - 2:30 PM

Session E: International Human Rights in Times of Crisis

SFH 108

  • Shakira Cruz Gonzales, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Education in Disaster Capitalism: Haiti, New Orleans and Puerto Rico)
  • David Werner, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Child Soldiering in the Sierra Leone Civil War)
2:30 - 2:45 PM
2:45 - 4:00 PM

Session F: Prospects for Sustainable Futures

SFH 108

  • Annie Crumbaugh, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Cassava Commercialization and Food Insecurity in Rural Zambia)
  • Katerine Henebry, Illinois Wesleyan
    (Creating a More Sustainable & Inclusive Transportation Sector in Ho Chi Minh City)
4:00 - 4:30 PM

Wrap Up

SFH 108

5:00 - 5:30 PM

Dinner & Conversation

Evelyn Chapel, Lower Level

5:30 - 6:30 PM

Dessert & Dialogue with Dr. Aschale Siyoum (Ethiopia, Scholar at Risk)

Evelyn Chapel

Sunday, February 17th

Closing Conversations & Recap of Workshop

Wilder Hall