GIVING IN ACTION: Making Dreams Come True

Godoy Headshot

Angelina Godoy

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

Area of Research
Human rights in Central and Latin America

Supported By
Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights

Angelina is working to harness the enthusiasm and talents of local UW students to improve human rights around the world.

Make a Gift
Support Angelina’s work by contributing to the Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights.

I’ve found that you can’t teach human rights only in a traditional classroom. At the Center for Human Rights (CHR), we’re creating opportunities for students to get up close and personal with real-world problems.

Our students are searching through declassified U.S. government documents, hunting for evidence in cases of crimes against humanity that took place in El Salvador. That country’s armed conflict in the 1980s resulted in massacres, torture and the executions of civilians, many at the hands of the government. It’s a tough assignment to research, but our students are also traveling to El Salvador, talking to locals whose lives have been wrenched apart by violence. Through conversations, they learn what justice might look like to the victims.

That kind of face-to-face interaction motivates students to dig in deeper with their work because they see how their research can make a tangible difference in someone’s life. By engaging with the needs of the world, our students graduate with more fieldwork experience, stronger research skills, empathy, compassion and a much richer perspective on the world and their place in it. They’re more involved global citizens as a result.

All of the projects at the CHR are only possible because of external support. The Helen H. Jackson Chair funds have been absolutely fundamental to our success. With them, we’re generating a new model for teaching and research to help further global human rights.

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Angelina in the Field: A Slideshow


  • Fighting for Justice
    To help people seeking justice for human rights abuses, Professor Angelina Godoy, Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights, believes students must get out of the classroom and into the field.
  • Learning Abroad
    Angelina led a team of UW undergraduates to San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, for a seminar on human rights and indigenous communities. Since 2004, she’s taken 10 groups to Central America.
  • Research for Rights
    A group of UW students in Angelina’s research course on violence prevention traveled to El Salvador in 2012 to conduct interviews with local people.
  • Community Connections
    Angelina’s approach to human rights includes meeting face-to-face with community leaders fighting for justice, including Don Julio, a organizer she met in Ocós, Guatemala, in 2011.
  • Environmental Impact
    In 2011, a few UW graduate students conducted water quality analysis with Angelina (left) in rural Guatemala. The research was part of the Center's focus on human rights and its impact on the environment.
  • Founding a Future
    Washington’s former Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill in 2009 founding the UW’s Center for Human Rights, the same year Angelina became the Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights.

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