Unfinished Sentences

On January 27th, Professor Angelina Godoy, Director of the UW Center for Human Rights, and Emily Williard, PhD Student in the Jackson School, joined the campus for a talk entitled “Unfinished Sentences: Seeking Justice in El Salvador.” The presentation discussed the amazing work of the UW Human Rights Center, which  connects students, scholars, activists and affected communities in the pursuit of justice in the aftermath of El Salvador’s civil war (http://unfinishedsentences.org).


In their presentation, Professor Godoy explained the genesis of the ‘Unfinished Sentences’ project and described the complexities of human rights work in El Salvador. Her presentation featured UW students developing video archives and narratives about the disappearances throughout the civil war. Professor Godoy explained the significant obstacles to constructing a history of violence during this internecine conflict and, occasionally, the joy at reconnecting long-lost family members. She discussed the powerful collaborative work between the UWHCR, domestic advocacy groups, and local communities working in the wake of devastation. The talk emphasized UWCHR’s pursuit of additional documentation of the American role in the civil war. Emily Williard described the challenge of amassing and analyzing documents from the State Department, CIA, and other governmental entities in order to construct an image of the conflict in El Savaldor.


The presentation also gave UW-Tacoma students the opportunity to ask questions about multiple aspects of the human rights context in El Salvador, the work of the Center, and the role concerned students could play in the future. Angelina and Emily shared their vision of the Center, helped the audience understand the legacy of the civil war, and described the Center’s numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate work (http://humanrights.washington.edu/resources/internships-volunteer-opportunities/). In general, the presentation provided students the opportunity to see an example of human rights work in action, to see the powerful effect it can have on the victims of violence, and witness the university’s contribution to this process. The event offered UW-Tacoma students an opportunity to learn about human rights efforts, but also created a space for a collective response to the fear and intimidation that often accompanies human rights work.

PPPA Student, Diliman Abdulkader, Is an Award Winner and Star Intern

DilimanAbdulkader_TVadDiliman Abdulkader had a busy but successful Fall quarter.  As an intern in the PPPA Capstone internship program, Diliman worked at the office of Congressman Derek Kilmer.  His time as an intern not only earned him academic credit and satisfied his Capstone requirement, but it gave him valuable real world experience that he will carry into his continued studies and beyond into his career.

As an intern with Congressman Kilmer Diliman fulfilled many duties such as answering emails and phone calls from concerned constituents, and filing documents for the congressman.  He also had the opportunity to interact with other employees in the office to organize community events that the congressman attended during his time away from Washington DC at his Tacoma office.  Diliman also had the opportunity to attend events with Congressman Kilmer, including those dealing with the current refugee crisis.  These opportunities were important to Diliman not only because of his career aspirations, but also because he was able to provide his own perspective to the congressman having been a refugee in the past as well.

The most valuable experience Diliman took from his internship was the opportunity to be directly involved in the realm of domestic politics.  He truly appreciated the ability to learn from and interact with the community on a day to day basis.  Diliman has a keen interest in international relations and human rights, but his internship with Congressman Kilmer helped him to understand the importance of domestic policy.  He feels that this experience will assist him in the future as he pursues further studies and his career.  At this time Diliman is applying to graduate schools and hopes to earn a Masters degree in international relations.  His goal is to become a diplomat for the United Nations between Kurdistan and the United States.

We wish him the best of luck!

For information about the PPPA Capstone internship program please contact Ann Frost at acfrost@u.washington.edu.