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Letter from the Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

November 16, 2016

Dear Jackson School Community,

As we come to terms with the results of the highly contentious election, I wanted to write to you to reaffirm that the Jackson School will always be an open and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. University of Washington President Cauce, Provost Baldasty and other university leaders have posted messages reaffirming UW’s commitment and support toward creating an inclusive and diverse community. As the Director of the Jackson School, I fully agree with those sentiments and will make sure that our faculty, staff, and students feel safe in our classes and work places.

I know that we are accustomed to dealing with contentious issues in our classrooms.  Last time I taught my class on the Iraq War, I had veterans, policy makers who had played a role in the origins of the war, journalists who reported from Iraq, Iraqi refugees, and students who had never traveled outside of the State of Washington interact and discuss the war. I am sure we all have similar stories of bringing controversial topics into our classroom. In fact, our deep historical knowledge about the world makes us well equipped to contextualize difficult topics such as the recent elections and make sense of them.

This time however, there is the additional factor that certain groups were openly maligned and threatened during the election campaign. It is completely understandable that now some of our colleagues and students would feel fearful, and marginalized.

We will be hosting an event titled Trump and the World on November 28, 7 to 9 p.m. (Check our Events page for upcoming details). Several of our colleagues will assess the impact of the U.S. election in their regions of expertise and on refugees and immigrants in the US.

Please make use of the many resources that the University has to help with work place challenges and related safety issues.

We will continue to work together to preserve the Jackson School as a place that is safe for everybody.  Our commitment to teaching our students the value of living in an open, free, and diverse society that respects the rights of everybody remains rock solid.  I have no doubt that upholding these values in our classes and in our daily interactions with each other will carry us through this challenging period.

Sincerely,

Reşat Kasaba
Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies
Director, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Africa Studies Program

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle WA, 98195-3650