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Featured Grants & Initiatives

Jackson School / UW Center for Human Rights

Issued: 2016-2017
Award: $30,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle

The Center will expand an existing freedom of information initiative, which lies at the heart of its public access mission. Through the Center’s work to answer important questions about the civil war in El Salvador, it developed deep expertise and credibility in making FOIA requests, which has distinguished it nationally among its peers. It will now build on this skill-set developed in Central American human rights work to apply the FOIA expertise here at home. Stemming from an increasing number of requests from journalists along with local and national human rights practitioners, the Center will grow this program to focus on domestic U.S. human rights concerns – specifically immigration enforcement and policies. The Center will hire one PhD researcher along with three undergraduate student researchers to implement this initiative. These students will receive specialized training in the use of FOIA and its Washington State equivalent in order to monitor the work of our national and state governments and identify areas of improved policies or practices.

The Center for Climate Security

Issued: 2016-2017
Award: $35,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.

In order to create a comprehensive view of East Coast-West Coast climate-security risks and to show how climate change impacts the United States’ ability to effectively engage in the world, the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) will hold two forums over the next six months. The first forum will be held in Seattle as a high-level meeting to allow participants to go in depth on the issues with a public event afterward.  The Seattle forum will include policymakers (federal, state and local), academics, military, along with private sector and civil society organizations. The goal is to examine the intersection of climate change and critical infrastructure and to place these issues into the framework of national security within the larger Asia-Pacific region.

The second forum will be comparable and held in South Carolina to provide an East Coast perspective and a targeted, strategic way to emphasize the bipartisan climate action needed to counter these risks.  It will provide an opportunity to highlight CSS’ recent Sea Level Rise report, which examines critical military infrastructure vulnerable to climate change located on the South Carolina coast. Making inroads in South Carolina on climate change could have positive influence in other conservative states and with other Members of Congress.

Street Law, Inc.

Issued: 2016-2017
Award: $22,000
Type: Grant
Location: Washington, D.C.
Street Law and the St. Petersburg Institute of Law will bring four top law school professors from state universities in Russia to Washington, D.C. to take part in a working study tour in spring, 2017.  The tour will be a five-day opportunity for the Russian law professors to work alongside and learn from leaders of the Georgetown Street Law Clinic, part of Georgetown Law.  The Russian law professors will visit the Georgetown Law Program, attend the District of Columbia's citywide mock trial competition final rounds, and participate in workshops on Street Law curricula and clinic development.  They will take their new experiences and learning, and apply that to improve the Living Law curriculum in Russia.  The participants will also collaborate to develop human rights case studies to use across Russian Living Law programs.

The Center for Climate and Security

Issued: 2016-2017
Award: $18,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.
The Center for Climate and Security (CSS) will update two of its recent publications, The Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military's Mission and the Climate Security Consensus Project Statement. The adjustments to the documents will reflect the new political environment in Washington, D.C. and discussions with Congressional leaders and staff.  The new publications will be featured at a significant bipartisan public event this spring with several panels featuring prominent retired military officials and members of Congress.

The Military Expert Panel Report concludes that the sea level rise risks to coastal military installations will present serious risks to military readiness, operations and strategy.  The related panel discussion would include retired flag officers from all the Armed Services.  The Consensus Project Statement declares that: "the effects of climate change present a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security" and urges a "comprehensive policy" in response.  The speakers for this panel would likely be members of Congress.

Human Rights First

Issued: 2016-2017
Award: $30,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: New York City, NY and Washington, D.C.
Together with the Jackson Foundation, Human Rights First (HRF) will hold a public event focused on "Countering Russian Influence through Strategic Partnerships." Human Rights First will gather thought leaders who can solidify recommendations, create buy in, and then advocate for them after the public event with policy makers, government agencies, and decision makers who must be reached to implement changes, including the new Administration and Congress. 

Human Rights First also intends to address the emerging issue of fake news and Russia's role in purveying false information, both domestically - within Russia, and internationally - to Western media.  HRF intends to work further on the links between civil society and technology in combating false and misinformation disseminated and generated by the Kremlin.  HRF will build on existing relationships with major tech companies such as Facebook and Google who have already identified the concern of false news and information as a threat to democratic society.  The link with Russia is a critical aspect of that concern.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $35,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The Jackson School will convene international policy conferences in Seattle (October 2016) and in Washington, D.C. (February 2017) on a number of current matters that relate to the Foundation’s themes of climate change, national and international security issues, foreign policy, and Asian geopolitics. Furthermore, the Washington, D.C. conference will examine cyber-security and the growing number and influence of private and public entities involved in the space industry.

The Master of Arts in Applied International Studies (MAAIS) program, as a fee-based program, can only utilize the revenues it generates and outside grants, not state funding for support; therefore, Jackson Foundation funding is an important supplement at a time when the program works to become better known locally and nationally.

The funding also provided for a presentation by Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar Robin Wright, a  on February 8, 2016. Robin Wright is a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a contributing writer to The New Yorker.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle
The Jackson School will convene an all-day Seattle conference in international affairs focused on Forced Migration and Human Rights in the spring of 2016. The daylong conference will address the topic of the ever-expanding refugee crisis in Europe with its recent national security implications in France. The conference will bring together academics from the Jackson School and other institutions along with policy makers and representatives from civil society organizations to discuss the underlying causes of forced migration, the role of civil society in regulating migration, and he freedom to migrate as a human right. The goal of the conference will be to convene a dialogue that results in concrete policy proposals with solutions to address the migration crisis.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Boston
Together with the Jackson Foundation, the Kennedy Institute will hold a moderated, town hall-style event on the youth vote in the spring of 2016. While many policy areas specifically impact youth in the United States, such as education issues, young people have the lowest voter turnout. The Institute wishes to hold a meaningful event to educate and engage young potential. The Kennedy Institute strives to impact areas that the Jackson Foundation also cares about, namely civic participation and training, youth engagement in the political system, and educating the public on important policy issues that the nation faces today.

Wilson Center

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $22,500
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.
The Wilson Center will produce a two-page summary document, hold two public meetings to better understand the existing security, international development, and climate connections, and then disseminate findings through online and social media outlets on climate, security and human rights concerns. The summary document is to be published in its online publication, New Security Beat, which has a large domestic and international audience. This strategic initiative builds on the work previously done by the Jackson Foundation and the Wilson Center, and creates connections in the related spheres of security, international development, and climate.

National Bureau of Asian Research

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and the Foundation will create multi-tiered programming aimed at elevating the issue of U.S. – China relations in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections, and on Capitol Hill. This would include five congressional briefings, four policy briefs, a public event geared toward involving the major political candidates in a debate regarding their strategic visions for the future of U.S. – China relations. Furthermore, the NBR would engage with the media to gain public attention for its work; social media outreach would include live news coverage and analysis of U.S. – China relations. Together with the Foundation, the NBR would work to inform and educate critical staff members, political candidates and the public on the relationship between the United States and China.

Advancing Human Rights and Free Russia Foundation

Issued: 2015-2016
Award: $22,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.
Advancing Human Rights (AHR), based in New York City, and the Free Russia Foundation (FRF), based in Washington, D.C., will hold a one-day conference in June in Washington, D.C. with the goal of informing key policy makers about Russia’s pro-democracy movement, to devise new strategies to work in this area, and to work toward civil society reform in Russia. The conference will focus on panel discussions addressing the threats and opportunities for the pro-democracy movement and technologies that could impact democratic activism. The conference will convene an invitation-only conversation to discuss various strategies regarding internal and external aspects of change, the need for rule of law, and the values of a democratic society. This initiative will provide specific strategies for American and Russian NGOs, politicians, and activists to strengthen Russian pro-democratic civil society.

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $20,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington State
Together with the Foundation, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition will hold a series of four public roundtable discussions in Washington State in August regarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  With the Fund set to expire at the end of September and reauthorization of the legislation far from assured, the Coalition seeks to educate decision-makers, key community leaders and the public on the importance of the legislation and to increase support for its renewal.  The aim of these events is to highlight the wide base of support the program enjoys and try to gain the backing of Congressional members. The Coalition will work to secure press and media coverage in order to call maximum attention to the Fund.  The Roundtable events will join together participants from a number of areas including business, conservation, public health, recreation, local elected officials, and Members of Congress / their staff.

World Affairs Council

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $10,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle

With the Foundation, the World Affairs Council will convene two community public events to enhance understanding of Russia’s recent political and economic developments, implications for future bilateral relations, and the Putin model’s impact on Europe.  The first session will examine Putin’s domestic and foreign policy.  The second event will address the possible weakening of liberal democracy that has spread into nearby countries.  The event will enable the Foundation and the World Affairs Council the ability to bring expert, substantive speakers to the events from outside Seattle.

Center for Naval Analyses

Issued: 2014-2015
Award $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.

The Foundation partnered with the Center for Naval Analyses to help facilitate and produce a funders’ conference on climate security.  CNA will work together with the Foundation to convene a one-day roundtable discussion with a representative body of foundations currently working in climate and energy as well as those working in national security, but not yet engaged in climate.  The briefing will inform funders and potential funders about the current state of support for climate and energy security, identify gaps and overlaps in funding across the community, find opportunities to work with nonprofits for better results in the field, and look for ways to engage collaboratively to move the work forward.  The goal is to attract new voices to the table, further inform foundations already working on the issue, and determine how to best allocate scarce resources to maximum effect.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $45,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle, WA
The Foundation is supporting the Jackson School's new endeavor, the International Policy Institute, and providing supplemental funding for an upcoming international policy conference in Washington, D.C.  The Carnegie Corporation of New York recently made a $1 million grant to the Jackson School.  The grant is one of a few given to international affairs programs to finance projects aimed at bridging the gap between academic research and policy making.  The Jackson School will use the funds to establish an International Policy Institute, which will serve as a hub for collaboration between scholars and practitioners. 

In order to facilitate the effective management of the grant, as well as to secure additional funding for long-term support of the new Institute, the Jackson Foundation's support will provide funds for a half-time staff position.  A part-time staff person is seen as critical to ensure the smooth administration of this substantial award and to firmly establish the Institute by garnering further backing.

The Jackson School argued to Carnegie that major entities located in the Pacific Northwest (such as the Gates Foundation, Starbucks Corporation, PATH, and other major corporate, nongovernmental and private entities) have the ability to influence foreign policy and merit closer attention.  The proposed conference would examine the impact of these other forces through the lens of three key questions, specifically, emerging Asian governance structures, the role of religion in U.S. foreign policy, and the international consequences of changing Arctic conditions, which are the three central themes of the Carnegie grant.  Panel discussions on each of these topics would highlight the strengths of the Jackson School while also including the voices of these outside actors.

National Bureau of Asian Research

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle, WA
National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), in partnership with the Jackson Foundation, will produce a program exploring the development of U.S. alliances in the Asia-Pacific.  With the region increasing in importance geopolitically, and the U.S. requiring countries to share in the infrastructure and defense costs, the strategic order is shifting.  NBR has held workshops and commissioned a number of research papers addressing components of this changing dynamic.  These papers have been compiled into NBR’s next annual Strategic Asia report to be launched in early December.

In order to maximize the policy impact of this scholarship, NBR will utilize this research to educate and inform members of Congress and their staff.  As a part of this initiative, the Foundation and NBR will convene two private roundtable discussions in Washington, D.C., with senior staff and members of Congress regarding the future of U.S. alliances in the Asia-Pacific.

Center for Naval Analyses

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $45,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.

The Foundation partnered with the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) to hold two events in Washington, D.C.  The first event will be a private round table with CNA’s Military Advisory Board, researchers and relevant stakeholders at their headquarters.  This convening will be the first time climate security will be examined from a Western Hemisphere perspective.  Issues will include addressing competing demands for disaster and humanitarian assistance, homeland security threats, and instability in the Western hemisphere due to extreme weather events.  The round table will bring together representatives from the military, homeland security, humanitarian assistance / disaster relief, congressional staff and the Executive Branch. 

The second event will be a larger program that will bring policy makers, the military and other experts together in a public forum to draw national attention to the accelerating impacts of climate change, address how to build bipartisan support and collaboration on necessary actions, and transfer lessons learned from the states to Washington, D.C.

Human Rights First

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.
In the last year, extremist political parties have gained a stronger foothold in Europe through election wins in a number of countries as well as the European Parliament.  Although small in number, these parties can wield strong influence.  Russia has found success in lobbying these European far-right parties for favorable policies.  

Human Rights First along with the Jackson Foundation will hold two half-day conferences, one in Seattle and one in San Francisco, to explore the rise of these extremist parties, the implications for U.S. policy and Russia’s influence.  The timing would be set to coordinate with the new Congress in order to maximize its ability to impact the upcoming U.S. foreign policy agenda.

Bipartisan Policy Center

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $23,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Washington, D.C.
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in partnership with the Jackson Foundation, will hold a public forum on leadership in the second term of a presidency.  A think tank based in Washington, D.C., the BPC works to address the key challenges facing America using a bipartisan, analytical, and reasoned approach. 

The Foundation and the Center have developed a public forum to examine how past presidents have managed to find agreement with Congress during their second terms.  The program will discuss presidents’ legacies and what clear patterns have emerged in the past to pass legislation.  The panelists will be drawn from former Administration officials of both parties who are aware of the pitfalls and challenges in this situation.

Seattle CityClub

Issued: 2014-2015
Award: $10,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle

The Foundation supported funding for Seattle CityClub to firmly establish its Civic Boot Camp program, a day-long workshop for about 30 participants to learn about Seattle’s history, culture and current policy choices.  Attendees receive training on how to get civically involved and make a difference in their own communities. This program is the only workshop of its kind offered in the Northwest.  With this funding, CityClub will produce a third Civic Boot Camp based on the topic of environmental stewardship and sustainability.  The Nature of Leadership book and Senator Jackson’s career will continue to serve as the basis for the workshops.

National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)

Issued: 2013-2014
Award: $25,000
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle, WA
In partnership with the Foundation, NBR will conduct a publication release conference for the report, “China Energy Crossroads: Forging a New Energy and Environmental Balance.” The half-day conference, featuring senior-level government officials for the keynote address and a panel of experts knowledgeable of China’s new energy strategy, will be held in the fall of 2014 in Washington, D.C. With a target audience of 100-150 key representatives from the Administration, Congress, business and academia, the conference would draw attention to NBR’s major annual report on energy security.

In addition, NBR will reach out to Congress with the report’s findings in order to educate American policymakers about energy market issues in Asia as well as its impact on America’s energy needs.

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition

Issued: 2013-2014
Award: $16,800
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle, WA
Founded in 1989, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition represents a broad membership of over 280 organizations to ensure adequate funding for outdoor recreation.

This 50th anniversary program will draw attention to the projects in Washington State that have been supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Coalition has researched and published a report that can be found here. This document includes an introduction examining Senator Jackson’s role in passing the legislation; a detailed list and descriptions of all LWCF funded projects in Washington State; and case studies with quotes and photos to tell the story of particular projects. The report will be put on the Coalition’s website and also widely distributed to its member organizations and civic groups.

In addition, to mobilize support for reauthorization of the LWCF, the Jackson Foundation and the Coalition will hold a LWCF 50th Anniversary Event. This event will serve as a means to educate political leaders and citizens about the Fund’s history and its current challenges, and to showcase the new publication.

Everett Community College Foundation

Issued: 2013-2014
Award: $10,000
Type: Grant
Location: Everett, Washington
The Foundation provided a grant to the Everett Community College Foundation to expand the end-of-year Honors Program Capstone Forum, which celebrates the accomplishments of the honors program graduates. The grant will also establish a low-income student scholarship endowment fund with matching funds from a Title III federal grant.  The proceeds from the endowment fund will be used for awards to honors scholars, who will be known as Jackson Scholars.

Pacific Northest National Laboratory

Issued: 2013-2014
Award: $63,350
Type: Strategic Initiative
Location: Seattle and Washington, D.C.

PNNL and the Jackson Foundation will hold a one-day symposium in the spring to raise important issues about the intersection of climate change and national security, highlighting the voices of national military figures.  The main goals will be to use the Pacific Northwest as an example for national-level planning and to help policymakers understand their tools and options.  The Seattle event will be geared toward an in-depth discussion of these issues.  In order to broadcast widely the outcomes of the symposium, PNNL and the Jackson Foundation will hold an additional event in Washington, D.C.  This event will highlight the symposium’s conclusions and generate media attention.