Events At A Glance

We welcome anyone who would like to join our events, from students to postdocs to faculty members to staff to community members! We'd love to have you! Come as you are, with an open mind.

Friends of the Vergnano Institute for Inclusion and Other Community Events

Wednesday May 19, 2021
Theme: Commitment to Sustained Action Through Letter Writing
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Human Rights Film+Series: Hidden

7:00 - 9:00 PM EST

UConn Human Rights Film+Series in partnership with PBS Frontline presents Hidden by Heejoo Kim, UConn Digital Media and Design Faculty.

Please join us for a virtual film screening followed by an engaged dialogue with the filmmaker and community partners.

About the Film: Hidden is an experimental animated documentary film intended to reveal the hidden physical and emotional crisis of elder abuse by presenting a personal experience of impairment and exploitation, based on real stories of people with dementia. While physical abuse is the most talked-about type of abuse in elder abuse, this film demonstrates more subtle forms of caregiver neglect and self-abuse due to fear or loss of confidence. It also goes beyond the symptoms of the problem to include a happy ending, when the main character discovers that her friendships and experiences are more important than her belongings or her memory loss.

Sustained or Continued Growth Opportunities


Join an anti-racist book club hosted by the John Lof Leadership Academy (based in the School of Engineering at UConn). Next book starts December 8th, e-mail for more information or to get involved!

The School of Engineering is hosting "SOE Reads" beginning with the book How to be Anti-Racist.  Join the group and conversation here: 

**Please check back frequently for further updates. If you have any suggestions or questions please email,

Prior Events

Thursday March 11, 2021 - Gender Pay Gap and Inequities in Engineering

During this event we delve deep on the gender pay gap and the inequities in engineering.

Tuesday February 23, 2021 - Health is Essential

During this event we learned how to relieve stress and anxiety, balance emotions, gain motivation, etc...

Thursday February 4, 2021 - No More Hidden Figures

During this event we discussed some figures that didn't get the recognition they deserved.

Wednesday December 9, 2020 - Understanding Hierarchies through an excerpt from Caste

We read and discussed an excerpt from the book 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent'.

Wednesday November 18, 2020 - School to Prison Pipeline and Education Inequities

We discussed the disproportionate tendency of minors and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to become incarcerated and education inequities. Here is the link to access the video watched during the event: CLICK HERE

Friday November 13, 2020 - First Gen Meet and Greet

We hosted a virtual meet & greet for first generation undergraduate, graduate students, staff and faculty on a new platform called

Wednesday October 28, 2020 - Lessons from a James Baldwin Debate

We watched an excerpt from the famous James Baldwin debate with William F Buckley, followed by an inspirational group discussion. Here are the slides from the event: CommunityConversation_10-28-20

Wednesday September 30, 2020 - How to be Antiracist

We watched the very eye-opening and powerful interview by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the book How to Be Antiracist, followed by an engaging and invigorating group discussion. Here are the slides from the event: CommunityConversation_9-30-20

Tuesday June 30, 2020

Please continue to refer and update the Anti-Racist Action Planner Worksheet
Friday June 19, 2020 - Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth!

Please read our letter to learn more about the history of Juneteenth, and how you/we can honor and celebrate this important holiday: JuneteenthNotice
Tuesday June 16, 2020 - Letter from a Birmingham Jail

We had a great conversation on June 11th, and would like to continue the conversation on 6/16/20 at 5:00 PM. In this Community Conversation, we would like to pull quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and discuss how it applies today and at UConn. Even if you didn't join last time, please join us this time. If possible, please read or re-read this letter prior to attending (this will take ~30-40 minutes). If you don't read it, please come anyway.

Please RSVP here at any time prior to the event. A Zoom link will be sent on June 16th to join.
Sunday June 14, 2020 - Mansfield COR Vigil

The Mansfield COR (Conversation on Race) is hosting a Racial Justice Candlelight Vigil at 8:00 PM at the Central Green in the Storrs Center/Downtown Storrs. There is also a solidarity walk afterwards.

Saturday June 13, 2020 - Justin Niezrecki's Birthday

Today is Justin Niezrecki's birthday. Justin was an incredible and loving engineering student who we lost December 2019. He wanted people to love and be active socially and politically. The Niezrecki family is hosting a movie night with a screening of:

7:00 PM - Spider man into the Spider-verse (Justin's favorite movie)
9:30 PM - Mudbound (in support of #blacklivesmatter)

Visit this page for a virtual movie ticket or to donate to the scholarship

Thursday June 11, 2020 - Letter from a Birmingham Jail

We are providing a space to process your thoughts from June 10th (and beyond) and hosting a discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail at 11:00 AM. If possible, please read or re-read this letter prior to attending (this will take ~30-40 minutes). If you don't read it, please come anyway.

Please RSVP here to join us, and we will send you the link to our virtual conversation

Here are our excerpts and discussion points: MLK - Letter From a Birmingham Jail - Discussion starter

Here are the slides from this event: CommunityConversation2-MLK Letter_V2

Tuesday June 9, 2020 - Community Conversation

  1. You can watch the livestream of George Floyd's funeral at 12 PM on either KHOU or The Fountain of Praise Church Website
  2. We invite everyone (students, staff, faculty, community members) to join us for a community conversation at 5 PM which will include a time and space to:
    Debrief any emotions or thoughts
    Engage in dialogue for developing individual action plans for change
    Engage in group discussions on initiatives we proposed in our open letter

Here are our slides: Download Now

Here is the Individual Action Plan Worksheet we shared: Download Now