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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Honoring Place in the Built Environment

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

Dean’s Message

Welcome to the CBE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Webpages!

At CBE we believe that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are essential to meeting our goal of a more just and beautiful world. We believe that focusing on equitable and inclusive principles in the built environment, elevates diversity and justice, and results in increased prosperity and deeper levels of engagement for everyone. The built environment bears a disproportionate share of carbon emissions and energy consumption in the world and we have seen disparate impacts of place-based determinants on health and wellness. This responsibility comes with the power to enact positive change in both how we work and the outcomes of things we work on. Working equitably is key to equitable outcomes since complex problems require the ability to work effectively with people who come from different backgrounds, points of view, and cultural norms.

A shared understanding of what equity, diversity, and inclusion mean in the context of the built environments generally and our college in particular is an important foundation from which to do our work.  This page collects resources and captures the evolving dialogue around how we are building necessary skills and framing new mindsets. These are our first steps in developing systems and processes that align with our values. We expect those values will be reflected in how we operate as a college, how we treat those in our community, and as an important measure of our success in teaching, research, and engagement. 

As a college, we have outlined our key strategies for moving forward with our EDI goals. At a high level, we seek to increase intercultural competency and the ability to bridge across differences by using strategies outlined in our strategic plan. We are working on more specific EDI strategies and goals through the work of our amazingly great Diversity Council.

We are curious to hear your thoughts on what you find in these resources, especially if you think there are gaps or opportunities you believe we should address, and/or places you wish to partner with us. Reach out to or make an appointment to see me during my office hours through my assistant  Thank you for taking the time to engage in this meaningful conversation.



Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Justice

The College of Built Environments is focusing on building a shared understanding and systems that support equitable and inclusive practices to elevate diversity and justice and increase the health and engagement of our programs and  the communities of practice we support.

The disciplines of the college are fundamentally about envisionsing, planning, designing and building a better future. This necessarily means one that is socially just and equitable. In a context of change and uncertainty, we believe that anything less is unsustainable. We acknowledge legacies of oppression built into historical practices, and going forward, pledge a commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, justice and inclusion. We seek to infuse these principles into all that we do.

To help us work collectively toward this goal, we define these principles below:

Core Values Definition
Social Justice Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.* It is not only about the fair distribution of opportunities and privileges (distributive justice) but also in the processes in which our work is carried out (procedural justice). 
Diversity  Diversity is about the ways in which people differ. It encompasses all the characteristics that make an individual or group different from another. It includes diversity according to race, ethnicity, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, marital/family status, physical ability, socio-economic class, education, age, religion, place of origin, language, neurological difference, size/appearance and a variety of different ways of thinking and being in the world.§ The CBE Diversity Council seeks to recognize, embrace and honor this diversity among its members.
Equity Equity is one part of social justice. Equity is the “just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.” It means unlocking the promise of the larger community/society by unleashing the promise in us all.
Inclusion Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities and decision-policymaking in a way that shares power and resources.§

* Source: National Association of Social Workers
§ Source: adapted from
Source: PolicyLink


As a college, we have outlined our key strategies for moving forward. We seek to:

  • Embody values of equity and inclusion in college culture internally and externally
  • Establish teaching and curriculum guidelines to support multiple and diverse topics and voices in all CBE courses; center and honor voices of historically underrepresented communities
  • Consider equity and justice in defining research outcomes, processes, and approaches
  • Cultivate and ensure an inclusive college identity, climate, culture, and demographics that reflect the racial diversity of the state and the nation. 

This work is a process of learning individually and collectively in order to undo long-standing patterns of oppression, and systemic inequity. We invite students, faculty, and staff to join in dialogue to exchange ideas and surface differences and create adaptive responses that do not minimize those differences but acknowledge and celebrate them.