We must also bid farewell to our Finance Officer, Jelena Jurkovic, who is retiring after ably serving the Foundation for 18 years. Her warmth and caring have made the Jackson Foundation a friendly and welcoming place for us all.
Highlighting Military Voices on Climate Change
During the course of 2015, the Foundation is partnering with CNA’s Military Advisory Board to further advise and educate the nation’s military leadership around this issue in advance of key international meetings in the fall and winter of 2015. The first event with CNA's Military Advisory Board was held on February 12, 2015. Foundation President John Hempelmann made opening remarks and Vice President Craig Gannett moderated a panel discussion. The panel topics focused on what to expect in the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, the perspectives of the international community about climate change risk assessment, an update on U.S. Navy and climate security in 2015, the U.S. posture on energy and climate change, as well as the evolving missions and climate change of the U.S. Coast Guard.
A second, larger, public event / conference with associated media and related outreach will be held in the fall, just prior to the Paris conference, with the goal of raising bipartisan awareness of the accelerating risks of climate change in a national security context.
The Foundation looks forward to the larger public meeting and will provide the details as soon as the date is announced.
UW Center for Human Rights Brings World to Students
Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, the Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights and Director, the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights at the Jackson School, has continued to forge links between the Jackson legacy and current human rights concerns. With Foundation support, the Center has sought to build partnerships with organizations that will extend its reach.
Angelina greatly values what practitioners can add to a student’s education about human rights, so the Center has made it a priority to bring that real-world element into its work. One delegation sponsored by the U.S. State Department consisted of visiting human rights advocates working in the area of human rights and the environment. This exposed the students to discussion about environmental sustainability and rights in several different countries, as delegation members interacted with students about using a human rights lens to view environmental injustice and challenges.
The Center’s partnership with Landesa, an organization promoting international land rights for the world’s poorest families, is another showcase for on-the-ground human rights activity. The Center has built an ongoing relationship with Landesa, taking advantage of visiting international land rights practitioners to bring them to the University and talk to students in formal and informal settings. These events, begun a few years ago, have been so successful that they have been repeated annually, so that Landesa Fellows now routinely visit the Center in the fall. Other faculty members have taken advantage of the visiting Fellows to bring them to talk to classes that relate to land rights, such as poverty, population, women rights, human rights, and Asian studies.
We are proud of our connection with the Human Rights Center and pleased that it has found ways to reflect on Senator Jackson’s legacy by engaging contemporary human rights in innovative and meaningful ways. I’m certain that the students are benefiting from the links with policymakers and other advocates at the frontlines of human rights work worldwide.
Land & Water Conservation Celebration Event
In 1964, Senator Jackson introduced the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, which was designed to preserve open space and bring outdoor recreation to nearly every county in the nation. Under this legislation, a small portion of revenues from offshore energy development goes into a fund used to preserve public land and build recreational facilities. Over the past 50 years in Washington State alone, the fund has supported over 600 projects ranging from boat launches to national parks.
In partnership with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, the Jackson Foundation participated in and sponsored a celebration and public briefing about this achievement on October 21 with Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks, among others.
During her remarks at the October 21 event, Linda Mason Wilgis, Jackson Foundation vice president, pointed out that “Despite its success, the program has received full funding only once, and is set to expire next year without congressional action.” She thanked Senator Patty Murray for co-sponsoring legislation to reauthorize the fund and ensure full, dedicated funding for S.338, the Land and Water Conservation and Funding Act. Senator Murray thanked those assembled for their help in raising public awareness of the importance of this legislation and expressed her commitment to seeing that the Act receives full funding.
U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, A Counterpart Exchange
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation (Seattle) and its partner, Agency for Social Information (Moscow), received a grant from the U.S. State Department in October 2013 to build on peer-to-peer relationships between Russian and American NGO leaders. The purpose of the project is to ensure that the best practices and innovative strategies from each country are conveyed. The study tour agenda and topics were based upon the expressed interest by the Russian NGOs to interact with and learn from their peers and counterparts in the U.S. on how to engage a broader constituency to support their work, both in terms of public opinion and eventually, financial support.
The underlying goal of this project is to ensure that the Russian public continues to develop a clear understanding of the role of NGOs in a healthy society: the interaction with government officials and agencies, and the supporting role that they can play; the positive engagement of young people in activities that can channel energies in a manner that contributes to society, at a time when polls show that young people in Russia would like to be more engaged; and the importance of providing material, volunteer and financial support to non-governmental organizations in a vibrant society.
From March 10-21, 2013 eight Russian NGO leaders started their study tour in Seattle with a full schedule of meetings, and participated in a Roundtable discussion other local NGO leaders. They then traveled to Washington, D.C. for further meetings, as well as gave a presention to a large and diverse audience at the Kennan Institute on the health of the NGO sector in Russia. The caliber of the delegate members, their professionalism, and their earnest interest in sharing and benefiting from the meetings here in the U.S. was impressive. Although they arrived in the midst of unprecedented tension in our bilateral relationship, they were willing to share candidly about the situation in Russia and to participate fully.
Foundation members traveled to Moscow at the end of May and attended a Roundtable discussion for other Russian NGOs to disseminate best practices gleaned from the exchange trip. In addition, both partners, with the assistance of the Russian delegation, will translate and post best practices on their websites for further dissemination.
The following is a video produced in Russian highlighting the participates at the Moscow Roundtable.