Dr. Lisa Sable Brown is an alumna of the University of Washington, where she studied psychology before obtaining a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1971. Dr. Brown spent her teaching career cultivating awareness and compassion in young people. During her career, she taught all age levels, but enjoyed teaching 2nd grade the most. She was particularly motivated by the urgency of stopping modern-day slavery and other grave forms of oppression in our world, especially those violations that forced people and young girls into slavery.

The Dr. Lisa Sable Brown Endowed Fund for Human Rights provides financial resources to benefit graduate students involved in research about, and advocacy for, basic human rights, particularly around the issue of modern-day slavery and other grave forms of oppression.

Make a gift today:

Contribute to this fund today using this link. To give by check, please designate “University of Washington Foundation” as the payee with “Lisa S. Brown Fund” in the memo line. Please mail check to UW Center for Human Rights, Box 353650, Seattle, WA 98195.

Thank you!

Fellowship Eligibility

This fund for UW graduate students will open for applications in February 2017!

The Dr. Lisa Sable Brown Fund provides financial resources to benefit graduate students to study and/or conduct research about human rights. In 2016, we anticipate having approximately $2200 available to distribute; the entire amount may be issued in a single award or split between multiple awardees. The number of awards and amounts will vary depending on the number and quality of applications. The committee may combine this fellowship with the Mack and Mayerfeld fellowship to make a more substantial award. Priority will be given to graduate student research that identifies acts of oppression of an individual’s human rights and advocates abolishing such practices that may be viewed as a form of “slavery.”

  • Any graduate student who is currently enrolled and will be enrolled in the upcoming academic year is eligible to apply.
  • This award is open to graduate students at all three branches of the University of Washington (Seattle, Bothell, or Tacoma).
  • The award could be used towards tuition, research, travel, books, materials, equipment.
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status is NOT REQUIRED.

Application Materials

To be considered, apply between February 20, 2017 and March 30, 2017 via the Jackson School Fellowship and Scholarship Application System at https://jsis.washington.edu/advise/funding/apply/.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. Biographic information, status as student, contact information, GPA, etc.
  2. CV/Resume with current contact information
  3. Proposal that answers the following questions (approx. 1000 words)
    • A description of the research/study and the goals of the travel, if any travel is included
    • What experiences do you have (if any) in the field of human rights?
    • Outline the purpose of your research/study and its relevance to the study of (or practice of promoting) human rights
  4. A detailed budget describing how the funds would be used and, if applicable, how this support would supplement other funds, fellowships, and grants.
  5. Unofficial transcripts
  6. A letter of recommendation from the student’s primary advisor or committee member. (Incoming students may provide letter of recommendation from most recent faculty member who is familiar with the student’s work)
  7. The names and full contact information (campus address, phone, and email) of two University of Washington (or past non-UW) faculty members who are familiar with your work.

If you have any questions about the application process, please do not hesitate to contact us at uwchr@uw.edu.


2016 (Inaugural) Award Recipient

Gozde "Burcu" Ege receives award Gozde "Burcu" Ege

Left image: Burcu, on right, shaking  hands with UWCHR Director, Angelina Godoy at spring symposium.

Gozde “Burcu” Ege

Burcu is in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near and Middle East Studies. The Sable-Brown fellowship helped Burcu with her research on the lives of the Palestinian refugee youth in Jordan, especially those in the camps set up by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Amman, Jordan. Specifically, she wanted to focus “on the lives and aspirations of Palestinian refugee youth who occupy both the humanitarian space of the camps within an increasingly neoliberal capital, Amman, whose growing inequalities further marginalize them.”

Read Burcu’s report from her activities this past summer:

For my pre-dissertation research I spent almost three months in Amman, Jordan this past summer. While my research broadly aims to examine the material practices and visions of the future of the Palestinian youth living in and out of refugee camps in Amman, human rights and humanitarian aid regimes are crucial in tackling how young Palestinian refugees’ social and economic practices are mediated along with gender, camp/non-camp distinction and class. The Sable-Brown fellowship helped me to spend more time in Amman than I initially envisioned and pushed me to refine my preliminary observations that I had made during the summer of 2015. My time in Amman allowed me to establish links with various Palestinian youth living in and outside of refugee camps, and with institutions that serve refugee youth. More specifically, I have established links with two community-based organizations in New Amman (Al-Wihdat) and Baqa’a refugee camps, where I volunteered teaching English and conducted informal focus-group interviews with Palestinian refugee youth and their families about their relationship to humanitarian organizations.

Burcu (far right) with Palestinian refugeess

Burcu (far right) with Palestinian refugees

This experience helped me to start to understand a number of issues. First of all, contrary to what I expected, Palestinians living outside the camps also participate in projects conducted by institutions from within the camps. One reason for this seems to be the movement of camp families to the outskirts of the camps once families grow, and if their budget allows, they settle in informal houses to escape the camp’s substandard, overcrowded and noisy housing conditions. Having lived in the camp, they still have ties with it through family networks or through NGOs and aid institutions. Secondly, it helped me learn, and discuss with local project managers, about the ways in which the Palestinian refugee community itself organizes for the empowerment of its own vulnerable populations at a moment where aid is more and more strained. For example, one of the community-based organizations I frequented is a self-sustaining women’s center where young children and women from inside and outside the camp learn English, take cosmetology, computer and sewing classes, and receive legal aid at a low, symbolic rate. This not only indicates Palestinian refugee communities’ strategies for self-empowerment, but also the gendered forms this self-empowerment takes on. Finally, by conducting informal interviews with the youth who frequent the center, I came to understand some of the ways the youth understand the diminishing of resources. Many claimed that UNRWA schools – the UN institution that provides the main forms of assistance to Palestinian refugees – were increasingly having to do more with limited resources, such as operating in a double-shift system in overcrowded classrooms. Some of my contacts went as far as speculating that UNRWA schools might be closed down soon, attributing this concern to Jordan’s receiving large number of Syrian refugees, and to the international community, who is directing its attention to this and other emergency situations in the region.

All in all, this fellowship helped me to refine some of my inquiries in relation to Palestinian refugee youth’s engagement with, and understanding of, humanitarian regimes. The complex relationships between humanitarian institutions in the camps and their Palestinian clients begs for further inquiry. The insight and networks I gained through my work in Amman, aided by the Sable-Brown fellowship has prepared me for my dissertation research, which will be carried out over a period of a year and a half, at the beginning of 2017.