WWU Professor of Anthropology Emeritus James Loucky was named the recipient of the Howard and Rosemary Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award by the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center on Sept. 19 - the International Day of Peace. The award is named after Howard Harris, longtime professor in Western's Department of Anthropology, and his wife Rosemary, who together started the Rufus Jones School, a Quaker K-12 school which was situated in one of the large old houses that until the 1990s were on what are today the parking lots on South Campus.
Before retiring in 2020, James worked as a professor of anthropology at Western Washington University for over 30 years. His research addresses challenges facing peoples of Latin America, and refugees and migrants around the world, and also extends to climate responsibility, humane borders, and a shared responsibility of child and community well-being as vital entities in a peaceful future. He has served as an expert witness for dozens of political asylum cases. At Western, James received the Phillip E. Sharpe Jr. Community Engagement Award, co-authored minors in Native American Studies, American Cultural Studies, and Salish Sea Studies, and served as Faculty Advisor to Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Students for Sustainable Water, and students pursuing careers in education and applied anthropology.
His work has continually supported immigrants and refugees, and especially the Maya people, both in Guatemala and across a widening diaspora. In addition to helping to organize the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival for 20 years, he regularly writes to the community about local issues like environmental restoration, children’s rights, and the commons as common sense.