A Place For Everyone

In the spring of 2015, President Ana Mari Cauce launched the university’s new Race and Equity Initiative. President Cauce presented the UW community with a challenge: that all of us—students, faculty, staff and university leadership—take personal responsibility for addressing our own biases and improving our university culture.

In the College of Built Environments we are committed to tackling this challenge. In the Pacific Northwest, a region distinct in our range of people, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, and values, we are raising our responsibility and commitment to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and equity in all areas of our recruitment, teaching, and hiring.

These efforts include:

  • Working with the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to expand the breadth of our outreach for student applications
  • Offering new general introductory courses in built environments, open to all UW undergraduate students
  • Collaborating with community colleges on accessibility and ease for transfer students
  • Working with high school counselors to increase knowledge of our programs
  • Fostering conversations that address problems and result in the implementation of solutions

The CBE is proud to be the home to students, staff, faculty, and scholars from across the globe. We stand with them and will provide them with support as needed. The diverse personal experiences our members bring to the CBE community are critically essential to a robust and engaging world class educational experience.

If you experience any personal incidents that leave you unsettled contact the police immediately.

If you wish to report incidents of non-emergency bias or violations of UW policies for non-discrimination please use the UW’s online reporting tool.

College Equity Council

The college Equity Council was established in autumn 2016 to identify areas of community and pedagogic improvement throughout the college that promote our goals of greater diversity, equity and inclusion. Meetings are held from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on the second Wednesday of each month in Gould 227. Please join us!

A diverse and inclusive CBE community will celebrate, not simply tolerate, the personal differences of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students, treating that diversity as an educational resource that is as equally important as departmental pedagogy and professional practice. CBE will strive to create an environmental and pedagogic climate where diversity is accepted, respected and promoted. In striving for inclusive excellence, CBE will produce alumni unrivaled in their ability to promote equity on a global scale.

For CBE purposes,
Diversity is a range of human identities, including but not limited to age, creed, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identify, national origin, physical ability or attributes, political beliefs, race, religious or ethical values system, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, and veteran status. 

Equity is understanding how historical and structural legacies shape contemporary societal realities (e.g. citizenship, education, immigration, migration, public policy, and religion), recognizing when such legacies maintain specific power and privilege shape these realities, and restoring balance when policy and societal application does not work to the benefit of all our citizens. 

Inclusion is the active engagement, involvement and empowerment of our diverse community, where the inherent worth and dignity of our full community is recognized.

Strategic Goals

  • Establishing an organizational structure within the CBE that is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of teaching, research, service, and practice.
  • Actively recruit and retain faculty, teaching assistants, and staff that are themselves diverse or promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Attract, retain, and graduation a student body that affirms the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion thereby promoting these values in their global professions.
  • Cultivate curriculum and promote pedagogy that emphasizes diversity, equity, an inclusion as equally important elements of the classroom/studio experience.
  • Promote a college climate that emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential elements to graduating fully informed global citizens.
  • Enhance collaboration between the CBE and its donors, alumni, and Professional Advisory Councils that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the built environment.

2018 – 19 Membership

Returning members…
Meegan Amen, Chair, Office of the Dean
Edgar Gonzalez, Office of the Dean
Megan Herzog, Department of Urban Design + Planning
Louisa Iarocci, Department of Architecture
Donald King,Department of Architecture
Lynne Manzo, Department of Landscape Architecture
Katherine McDermott, Department of Construction Management
Kim Sawada, Department of Architecture
Simon Stevenson, Runstad Department of Real Estate
Christoph Strouse, Department of Landscape Architecture

All CBE faculty, staff, and students are welcome to join.

Departmental Diversity Councils

In addition to the College’s efforts, many of our departments have also established programs focused on increasing diversity within their units.

Department of Architecture Diversity Plan
Department of Landscape Architecture Diversity Mission Statement
Department of Urban Design and Planning Diversity Committee

2018 - 19 Equity Theme of the Year

In 2017 – 18 the Equity Council chose the theme “Growing Equitably TOGETHER” to promote independent and departmental work that shared a similar emphasis. The objective is to demonstrate how our disciplines touch on many of the same themes through different academic lenses and elevate that discussion for the year. If you wish to contribute to this year-long endeavor you do not have to join the council to participate. If you have suggestions for this year’s theme please email Meegan Amen (meegan@uw.edu). 

2017 - 18 Theme - Growing Equitably TOGETHER

May 21-25, 2018 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
“Growing Equitably Together Exhibit
Gould Pavilion, Olson Gallery
A showcase of CBE faculty and student works examining how we might grow together equitably. Work includes independent faculty research, lab research, student thesis projects, group studio projects, independent study material, and charrette or symposium outcomes (to name a few). Exhibit content accepted in Gould 224 through Tuesday, May 15 for inclusion.

May 16, 2018 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Architecture Hall, 147
“Equitable Development: Social Equity by Design”
Featuring Carlton Eley, Environmental Justice Division, Environmental Protection Agency

May 4, 2018 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
“The Challenges of Urban Growth and Social Justice: Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future”
PhD Symposium, Interdisciplinary PhD in Urban Design and Planning
Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, Native Chicano Suite
Keynote speaker: Prof. Leonie Sandercock, UBC School of Community & Regional Planning

April 18, 2018 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Architecture Hall, 147
“A Central Vision”
A Central Vision, a 30-minute documentary film by Inye Wokoma and City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Development, takes a look at the history of the Central Area, current plans and policies addressing the rapid growth and change in the neighborhood, and the future stake of long-time residents. Watch the trailer.

March 7, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Architecture Hall, 147
“When Ivory Towers Were Black: Lessons in Diversifying the City-Making Professions”
Featuring Sharon Sutton, Emeritus Professor, UW Department of Architecture

February 22, 2018 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“Planning for Equitable Growth in the U-District”
CEP Panel Discussion
Panelists: Senior Project Director, Campus Master Plan; David LaClergue, CIty of Seattle Planner OPCD; Devin Kelly, SEIU 925

Exploring Equity in the Built Environment

The College of Built Environments explores diversity, equity, and inclusion within the built environments two ways. The CBE aims to identify institutional racism and structural community inequality in the built environment through its pedagogy. Current department research projects address such topics as economic revitalization, managing community growth, land monitoring, neighborhood and street design, active transportation, non-motorized transportation safety, physical activity, and access to food environments. Instruction delves into many systems critical to economic and social well-being such as energy, water, health, transportation, education, and communications. Identifying the institutional inequality in community resource allocation will combat neighborhood racial and economic stereotypes that promote unconscious and institutional bias.

The CBE also aims to build a more diverse and inclusive community by welcoming faculty, staff and students from a wide range of backgrounds, life experiences, and educational knowledge. Instructional dialogue is enhanced through student exposure to these varied perspectives and is a vital component towards forming world class graduates.

2018–“Social Equity by Design” Featuring Carlton Eley. 
2017–“The National Museum of African American History and Culture, designing on our National Treasure” Featuring Zena Howard.

Additional UW Diversity Resources

  • The Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) works to increase diversity on campus and enrich the colligate experience of all UW students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Graduate School supports students and departments through programming, advocacy, and fostering conversation and dialogue. Within the Graduate School is the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), which works to expand graduate education to everyone, with events and outreach geared toward underrepresented minority graduate students and students of color.
  • The Intellectual House is a longhouse-style facility on the UW Seattle campus. It provides a multi-service learning and gathering space for Native American students, faculty and staff, as well as others from various cultures and communities to come together in a welcoming environment to share knowledge.
  • The University of Washington Q Center is a primarily student-run resource center dedicated to serving students, faculty, staff and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions.
  • The University of Washington Veterans Education Benefits office serves military veterans and their dependents during their time as students at the UW.
  • The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) unit is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for all students with disabilities on the Seattle campus.
  •  Leadership Without Boarders is a resource center for undocumented students offering leadership development, peer support, textbook lending, career advising, and financial training.