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Human Rights Week

The University of Dayton's Human Rights Week, a student-organized week of events to raise awareness of human rights issues around the world, will focus on the criminal justice system.

Here is the schedule of events for the week that runs Feb. 18-24. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

● Letter writing event, 12-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, Kennedy Union Torch Lounge — Students will hear about human rights violations in the criminal justice system, especially the death penalty, and write letters to political officials speaking out against those violations. This event is for UD students only. 

● Inside the Cell: The Experience of Solitary Confinement, 12-3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, Kennedy Union Torch Lounge — This interactive exhibit will show the effects of solitary confinement, including virtual reality goggles mimicking that environment. 

● Conversation with U.S. District Judge Michael Merz, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, Sears Recital Hall — Merz will share his experiences and reflections on the death penalty and other human rights issues in the U.S. criminal justice system. 

● Prison State screening, 12:30-1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, Sears Recital Hall — Prison State details problems with the U.S. system, including repeat incarceration that leads to the high number of people in prisons nationwide. 

●  Prison Fellowship, 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, Sears Recital Hall — Representatives from Prison Fellowship will discuss the importance of advocating for those affected by incarceration, including prisoners, victims and their families. Prison Fellowship advocates for a criminal justice system that upholds restorative values, respects victims, rehabilitates criminals and makes communities safer. 

● Jenna Knapp: Youth Incarceration in El Salvador, 8:30-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, Sears Recital Hall — Jenna Knapp will discuss her experiences from Fulbright scholarship work in El Salvador, where she learned about the lives and conditions of prisoners. 

● Professor Panel, 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, Science Center Chudd Auditorium — Miranda Hallett, assistant professor of sociology; Martha Henderson Hurley, director of the criminal justice studies program; and Bill Trollinger, professor of history, will share their experiences with the criminal justice system and thoughts on reforming the system.

● Reception, 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, Kennedy Union Torch Lounge — Mark Ensalaco, director of human rights research in the University of Dayton Human Rights Center, will reflect on 20 years of human rights studies at the University of Dayton and discuss the future of human rights studies and the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton. Consciousness Rising is hosting this event along the Human Rights Week committee. 

● Criminal Justice Plunge, Saturday, Feb. 24 — Students will visit prisoners and learn about recidivism, the need for education, and options for work after prison. This event is for UD students only. 

For more information on University of Dayton Human Rights Week, contact Tess Golonka at 


News and Communications Staff