The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Mini-Grants

Eighth Annual Physicians for Human Rights Conference

The eighth annual Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conference at Dartmouth took place on January 10th and 11th, 2020, and was organized by the Nathan Smith Society and the Geisel Physicians for Human Rights group. This year’s conference, “A 20/20 Vision for Our Children’s Future” was dedicated to the subject of our youth, and encompassed their rights, wellbeing, and standards of upbringing. Experts from legal, academic, and clinical backgrounds were invited to share their knowledge and findings on how best to ensure that children in today’s world thrive throughout their development and into adulthood.

Muriel Ammon '21 Attends the 2019 Keres Children's Learning Center Symposium

At the 2019 Keres Children's Learning Center Symposium, I met Montessori and language teachers from tribes all over the country, including a Dartmouth alumn working on Lakota language now. I'm so grateful to KCLC for bringing this community of educators together and allowing me to join them. Before meeting Trisha Moquino, the founder of KCLC, I had not known that there were any Native Montessori schools, let alone Native language and culture immersion Montessori schools. The panelists were educators, school founders, community members, students, alumni, parents, and elders of these schools. This variety of speakers allowed us to discuss Native Montessori schools in their entirety, from why language revitalization is so important, to how Montessori can be a supportive tool for language acquisition and indigenous excellence, to how to follow state and federal education policies while using alternative education approaches.

Juliana Arevalos Bordao '22 Attends the Anti-Imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism

Attending the Anti-Imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism in Cuba’s capital city was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the events related to the presidential election in Bolivia to the well-known problems faced by Venezuela, there is much currently going on in Latin America. I would be sufficiently glad about the opportunity of encountering Latin American people in such a context to discuss about these troubled events and what they represent for democracy in their respective nations. That this encounter occurred in a socialist country historically marked by its tense relation with the United States and involved people from all over the world, then, constitutes an experience I will never forget. I learned a lot at the Meeting, both from speakers and from the other attendees I met during coffee breaks, lunch, or at the small bookshop that was set up near the plenary room.

Michelle Sun '23 Attends the 2019 Ivy Council Leadership Summit

There were many aspects about the 2019 Ivy Council Leadership Summit that made it a very valuable and interesting experience. Not only was I exposed to a totally new environment (as this year’s conference took place at the University of Pennsylvania), but I was also able to find myself immersed in various new viewpoints from peers of my own age group. What made the conference exciting, I think, was the scope of information covered, as well as the energy that many of the delegates and speakers brought to the sessions.

Juliana Bastos de Mello '22 Attends a Conference While in Cuba

Juliana Bastos de Mello '22 attended the Jornada Continental por la Democracia y Contra el Neoliberalismo, while in Cuba.

As a Latin American student from Brazil I was looking forward to meeting with leaders in social and political movements all over the continent whose actions have an active role in the sociopolitical innovations, challenges and requests of the region. For instance, I was thrilled to meet the president of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) – the worker’s party – in Brazil, Gleisi Hoffmann, as well as the former president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, who was the victim of a coup in 2012.

Sarah Chong '21 Attends the Ivy Leadership Summit

As the leader of the Dartmouth delegation traveling to the 19th Ivy Leadership Summit at the University of Pennsylvania, I expanded my leadership in an unexpected way; leading a group of students to a new campus in a 9-hour road trip was a new experience. No longer in a classroom and an educational setting, it was a challenge to get strangers to be comfortable with each other in a cramped van. I also had to make it clear that there were expectations for us to be respectful and professional, as Dartmouth representatives. I went from being a discussion facilitator to an almost chaperone-like authority, and it was hard to jump between the stricter necessities of being punctual with open-minded debates on sustainability.

Han Vale '20 Presents at the 2019 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery ‘Food and Power’

This summer, thanks to the support of the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth, I was able to attend and present my paper at the 2019 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery ‘Food and Power’. While I expected to learn so much at this conference about the role of food in history, our lives, cultures, and relationships to land, I learned so much about what the discipline looks like and myself too. As it was my first conference, I was overwhelmed in wanting to attend all of the sessions that ran concurrently – and spent ample time researching the presenters, reading their papers, and preparing questions to try and focus my time and energy in the places that most interested me.

Al-Nur's Annual Islam is Green Speaker Series

Every year, Al-Nur holds Islam is Green week in order to present our community of students and faculty the opportunity to do to engage with one another. Our primary aim is to invite notable American Muslim speakers that speak to experiences of both the Dartmouth Muslim community and otherwise. This year, we chose the relevant theme of women in Islam and immigration and intersectionality. The speakers brought in were Azadeh Shahshani and Mariam Rauf.

Azadeh Shahshahani is a notable human rights activist who has worked on the international stage for many years, protecting the rights of the marginalized including particularly the Middle Eastern and South Asian communities. Her presentations were titled, “Waging a Battle for Human Rights:Project South's Protect and Defend Initiative” and “What are my Constitutional Rights?”. They were very helpful to students as they learned about the social justice work done in Southern states to help immigrants. Shahshahani brought up many examples of the Project South group shutting down detention centers that were inhumane towards people.

Building Living Bridges that Drive Positive Social Change

TED talks are timeless for their ability to inspire excitement for lifelong learning and create delight and wonder with ideas that have the power to change the world. In our second iteration of the TEDx conference at Dartmouth, we wanted to focus on how bold ideas can drive positive social impact and social change in the communities we belong to. Our inspiration for choosing the theme “living bridges” first came to us last summer, when we chanced upon photographs of root bridges in India. These living bridges are formed by local communities coming together in a social endeavor to guide the pliable roots of a tree across a river or stream and allowing them to strengthen and grow over time until they can support the weight of a human being. Perhaps what was most interesting to us about these bridges was that they are continuous works in progress as the roots grow and shift over time. As the Dartmouth community “honors our past and inspires our future” in its 250th year, this theme allowed us to highlight the bridges we have built and the bridges we have yet to build together in the years to come.

Lucía Caballero '19 Attends the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 

Attending American Association of Geographers (AAG) 2019 Annual Meeting was an extremely valuable experience. It gave me the opportunity to present my thesis research in front of some of my academic idols as well as engage with the discipline of Geography in an entirely new way. It happened at the perfect moment, when I was getting ready to finish my thesis but still had twenty pages to write and needed re-inspiration to power through the last few pages.

I got to discuss my research with a group of like-minded individuals who had valuable advice to give me and got me thinking in new ways. One of the Dartmouth professors on my thesis committee, Patricia Lopez, took me and my peer, Benny Adapon, who was also giving a talk on his thesis research, around the conference and introduced us to academics from all over the country. The entire Dartmouth faculty were extremely supportive and helpful throughout the entire process, and they all attended both mine and Benny's talks.

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