Diversity & Equity

We seek to foster an inclusive and reflexive community by actively working against intentional and unintentional exclusionary practices.

Our work on diversity and community encompasses intersecting dimensions of difference (such as gender, class, race, disability, religion and sexual orientation) and values how we do our work as much as what work we do.

This page profiles illustrative examples of how we enact these commitments within various department activities and programs.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

With these intentions, the Department of Geography's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee convenes programming and guides initiatives for our community. Comprised of faculty, staff and graduate students, the committee regularly organizes and facilitates events around strengthening departmental diversity and inclusion. We welcome involvement and input. Please contact us if you have questions about the committee and its work. Committee membership in 2021-2022 includes the following individuals: Professor Michael Brown, Professor Mark Ellis, Graduate Student Jiaxin Feng.

Committee Year-End Reports

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Solidarity Statement

The Department of Geography’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the University of Washington shares the immense pain, grief, and anger over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and Tony McDade. In the Seattle region, we say the names of Charleena Lyles, Shaun Fuhr, Che Taylor, Bennie Branch, Said Joquin, Manuel Ellis, and Eugene Nelson. These killings are but a few of the long list of Black lives brutally stolen by historical and institutionalized white supremacy to which the police system is indispensable. When we say Black Lives Matter, the Department of Geography’s 2019/20 Diversity and Inclusion Committee supports all Black lives in their intersectional wholeness, including Black trans and gender nonconforming people. We also remember the countless lives taken within Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and immigrant communities. Here, we say the names, John T. Williams, Tommy Le, and Isaiah Obet, killed at the hands of Washington state’s police. The Department of Geography's Diversity and Inclusion Committee strongly condemns the continuous threats to dehumanize Black life and the ongoing violence against the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color... (June 2020, with thanks to the 2019-20 Geography DEI committee, Kim England, Teddy Davenport, and Soohyung Hur.)

Solidarity Statement

Department of Geography Racial Equity Assessment

As educators, the Department of Geography faculty and staff touch students’ lives in multiple capacities, in the classroom as well as through formal and informal mentoring relationships. This assessment provides principles, reflective questions and processes to help geography department faculty and staff to critically examine our own practices in interacting with students through a racial equity lens. Specifically, it addresses the third action item under the first goal, “Cultivate an inclusive campus climate,” outlined in the university-wide 2017-2021 Diversity Blueprint. Overall, department faculty and staff are encouraged to approach teaching & learning practices by asking “Who are my practices working for?” rather than asking, “Are my practices working?” In general, we encourage flexibility with norms or rules, recognizing that racism is often unconsciously written into university policies and structures that historically privilege whiteness. (Summer 2020, with thanks to Nell Gross and Soohyung Hur.)

Racial Equity Assessment

Affirmative Action Plan for Faculty Hiring

The Department of Geography’s affirmative action plan for faculty hiring is guided by our mission and values statement. This plan, discussed & updated by department faculty in autumn 2019, outlines the department's approach to sustained faculty recruitment; building diverse applicant pools; search committee development; file review; campus visits; and retention.

Affirmative Action Plan

University Land Acknowledgement

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.

UW Office of Tribal Relations.

Additional Readings & Resources