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In Memoriam Peter Jackson

March 23, 2020

The following message from UW Center for Human Rights Director Prof. Angelina Godoy reflects the feelings of the entire UWCHR community in expressing our sorrow at Peter Jackson’s passing and our abiding gratitude for his life and legacy.

Dear friends and supporters,

I write with a heavy heart to let you know that Peter Jackson passed away on the night of March 21 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Peter Jackson (center) and Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle (left, D-36) are recognized as "Human Rights Champions" during the UWCHR's 10th anniversary celebration. (Photo: Nate Gowdy)

Peter Jackson (center) and Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle (left, D-36) are recognized as “Human Rights Champions” during the UWCHR’s 10th anniversary celebration. (Photo: Nate Gowdy)

I am sure those who knew Peter will agree that he was one of the most wise, witty, and generous souls to have ever graced our campus and community. The son of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, Peter grew up well versed in the ways of power, but the life he built for himself was one of profound humility and service. A talented writer, he served as editorial page editor at the Daily Herald in Everett, WA, and won numerous awards for his journalism. Deeply committed to environmental justice, he served on the board of the North Cascades Institute for many years, and in many ways he should be considered the “founding father” of our Center for Human Rights.

Our Center would not exist today if Peter hadn’t proposed the idea, when he and I first met in 2008, that we approach the Washington state legislature to create an interdisciplinary center for human rights at UW. It was his connections, his campaigning, and his patient and abiding counsel over the years, that opened the way for us to grow as an institution. He carried that commitment to the end: in his final days, he and his wife Laurie Werner established the Advancing Human Rights at Home Fund, to which they have asked that people make gifts in his memory. Donations may be made at this link: giving.uw.edu/peterjackson. In honor of Peter Jackson, all contributions $100 or more will be matched by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, up to $25,000.

Given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves due to COVID-19, I do not expect that there will be a memorial service now, but we look forward to a future opportunity to join in community to honor Peter. In the meantime, I ask that you hold your own closer, and do what you can to stay healthy, for together we have much work to do to live up to the sacred trust placed in us by this lion of a man.

Sincerely,

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy

Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights
Director, Center for Human Rights
Professor of International Studies and Law, Societies, and Justice