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By Danielle Chaloux

President Bill Clinton and the international human rights education organization Tostan will be awarded the seventh biennial Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Glenn Mitoma, Director of the Thomas J. Dodd Center explained the criteria.

“It goes to an individual or an organization that has made a substantial and significant contribution to the protection, promotion, or realization of human rights somewhere in the world,” he said.

While usually determined by nominations, this year’s committee chose President Clinton for a special reason.

“President Bill Clinton was here to dedicate the Dodd Center in 1995 when it opened,” said Mitoma. “And because his record over the past 20 years since he did that makes him a deserving candidate for the Dodd Prize, we selected him as the recipient for this year’s Dodd Prize.”

The organization recipient, Tostan works with The Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative. Tostan’s approach, called the Community Empowerment Program, utilizes non-formal education sessions and interconnected groups and social networks to have a positive impact in the areas of health, education, governance and economic growth in francophone West Africa.

The creation of the Dodd Center, as well as the Dodd Prize was due to the efforts of Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, son of Thomas Dodd.

“This center was really constructed at the impetus of Christopher Dodd, in order to commemorate not only his father’s service as senator, but his father’s service as Executive Trial Counsel at the Nuremberg Tribunals,” said Mitoma

The Dodd Center houses the university’s archives and special collections, including some 50,000 pages of documents, including Thomas Dodd’s papers from the Nuremberg Trials. The documents are available for public access in the center’s reading room.

The Prize will be awarded on October 15, at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.