Like many of Kean's organizations, the Human Rights Institute (HRI) has grappled the unique challenges of this fall semester by utilizing online resources to conduct events remotely. That adjustment has hardly inhibited the institute's efforts to offer the Kean community events of vital importance to civic and community involvement as part of their mission to combat violations of human rights and liberties worldwide. Throughout September, the Human Rights Institute kicks off the fall with poignant and compelling events for all, provided virtually using Zoom.
On Monday, Sept. 21, the HRI hosts the "Art as Witness" Talkback, a virtual tour of the "Art as Witness" exhibit (visiting from the School of Visual Arts), hosted by curator Francis DiTommaso. The exhibit, a work of graphic art, promotes dialogue and debate amid the increased controversy of social and political issues in our time. It will run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and feature discussion with the curator, through Zoom.
Following Constitution Day (Sept. 17), the HRI hosts An Inalienable Right on Tuesday, Sept. 22 alongside the Department of History. It promises to be timely workshop, as the nation anticipates its presidential election, about the voting rights provided to all by the Constitution, The conversation will run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.
On the same subject, the HRI will follow with Issues Night: Voter Suppression on Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The discussion will feature philosophical and practical questions - whether voting is a right or a privilege, and what kinds of impediments exists between citizens and the voting booth.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Census 101 Workshop will be held from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. through Zoom. The HRI and participants will advocate for the critical importance of the Census, through which involved citizens can directly influence change and opinion in their communities, and encourage participants in the workshop to ensure their voices are heard. From local and wider infrastructure to issues of health and welfare or critical, cultural affairs, the Census counts the voices of everyone to update and re-frame our perspective of our local and national communities.
Finally, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the HRI will host a Presidential Debate Party during the first of a series of debates between this season's candidates. The HRI will be following the event through Twitter, and participants are invited to share ideas and reactions to the debate through their Twitter page, @KeanHRI. Students who have not yet familiarized themselves with the issues pertinent to the election or the views of the candidates will have the perfect opportunity to do so alongside other members of the Kean community. The debate party will be live from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m.
These virtual events can be accessed through links provided by the Human Rights Institute on Cougar Link. All are encouraged to engage with the community thanks to the Human Rights Institute's continual efforts this fall and going forward.