The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington combines the social sciences, humanities, and professional fields to enhance our understanding of our increasingly interconnected globe. One standout and unique element of the program is “Task Force,” a capstone course that requires students to work in teams to research a specific policy issue and offer policy recommendations. Their research and recommendations address complex and pressing world issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis, cybersecurity, and US/Iran Policy after the nuclear deal.
Their written report is then subjected to an oral evaluation by experienced policymakers, such as foreign ambassadors and or directors of prominent federal agencies such as the CIA. Many students cite Task Force as the highlight of their undergraduate education.
This video profiles two student participants in the program, one current and one graduate, as they discuss the impact of Task Force and their Jackson School education.
Roles: Producer, Videographer, Editor
A mini-documentary highlighting the collaborative work between the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights and partners in El Salvador for truth, justice and reparations in El Salvador. By Alex Montalvo, Revelriter Media.
Excerpted from The Center For Human Rights at the University of Washington
“Today, democratic governance in El Salvador is threatened by crises of crime and violence, driven by the longstanding problems of poverty and social exclusion but rendered a potent threat to governability by the widespread perception that the institutions of justice are inoperable. In a sad commentary on the dividends of purported peace, many Salvadorans report that things are worse today than they were during the 12-year civil war that claimed over 75,000 lives.
Despite the signing of peace accords that called for fundamental social and political reforms, no systematic reform of the justice sector has been undertaken, and those in power continue to enjoy the ability to intercede in justice proceedings in the interests of preserving their impunity. There has been no justice for the victims of crimes against humanity committed in the context of the Salvadoran civil war, nor any extensive investigation to establish truth or accountability in such cases. In this sense, the country’s fragile democracy is built on an untenable silence; until Salvadoran society addresses the systematic violations of human rights that rent asunder the social fabric for so many years, the country’s justice system will remain unable to confront the crimes of the past or present.
Now is a pivotal moment for a concerted push for truth, justice, and reparations in El Salvador, involving strategic coordination between Salvadoran victims’ organizations and international actors. The CHR, in collaboration with the Instituto de Derechos Humanos at the Universidad Centroamericana (IDHUCA), is developing a project to apply important international justice precedents to the Salvadoran context, through the concerted application of national and international pressures for justice and a strengthening of grassroots movements within the country.”