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Center for Human Rights - Celebrating 15 Years! Students • Partners • Research

Advancing Despite the Challenges of 2020: Annual Report 2019-2020

UW student in personal protective equipment. Photo credit: University of Washington.
UW student in personal protective equipment. Photo credit: University of Washington.

December 1, 2020

Letter from the Director

Angelina GodoyLet’s see if I can write this letter without using the word “unprecedented.”

This deep into the pandemic, I figure we’re all sick of hearing that word. I know I, personally, am eager to return to some sense of normalcy, even as the pandemic and the multiple other crises detonating in its midst make it more evident than ever that we need to forge a new world, not return to the old one when this is done.

I’ve been grateful, in these days, not only to have a job, period, but to have one that permits me to work alongside some of the most courageous and committed people working to shape that new world, from UW faculty, staff, and students; to community leaders on the front lines of human rights struggles; to advocates and supporters who make this work possible. I hope that as you peruse these pages, you might find that the inspiring stories of our community lift your spirits. Change is coming, and our work continues to give us the privilege of helping bring it about, in our local area and around the world.

At the heart of our community are our students. In the past year, we’ve continued to support student excellence in human rights, distributing $124,900 in support to UW students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our research team has grown and we anticipate its further expansion in 2020-21. We’re also proud of our former students, and feature a few in these pages as an example of the great work UWCHR alums go on to do.

Our faculty continue to reap recognition for their work, whether that comes in the form of awards or lawsuits from federal agencies. (That last bit was a joke… sort of.). This year, on top of their regular teaching and research responsibilities, more Center faculty have also become involved in Center research through the new Immigrant Rights Observatory monitoring the implementation of Washington’s two new laws protecting immigrant rights.

We’re honored to receive growing recognition for our work. The number of organizations we partner with has multiplied; this year, we expanded our list of collaborators to Panamanian organizations working to document the human rights consequences of the 1989 U.S. invasion. We continue to aim for the expansion of our work to new contexts and hope to inaugurate new areas of work in the year ahead. And we’re pleased to share that in 2020, the ACLU of Washington recognized the UWCHR with its William O. Douglas Award in acknowledgment of “outstanding and sustained contributions to the cause of civil liberties and freedom.” The celebration, which coincides with the ACLU’s centennial, was postponed to October due to the pandemic, but we are looking forward to it!

Lastly, while we focus on the good news here, I do also need to acknowledge that 2020 has also been a year of irremediable losses. In addition to the many lost to acts of violence and COVID-19, this year we mourn the passing of Peter Jackson, the leading force behind the creation of our Center and the founding president of our Advisory Board. We hope to honor his legacy with the work we carry forward, inspired by his vision of placing university research at the service of real-world social change.

I am, as always, deeply grateful for your support of human rights,

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy

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

Inside This Issue

Download the 2019-2020 annual report: "Advancing Despite the Challenges of 2020"

Download the 2019-2020 annual report: “Advancing Despite the Challenges of 2020”