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 health, wealth, and deeper levels of engagement for everyone. The built environment bears a disproportionate share of the responsibility for carbon emissions, energy consumption and place-based determinants of health and wellness in the world. As we continue to more deeply understand the power of the built environments as a lever of change, we commit to shifting from “doing less bad” to doing good. These are complex problems, solving them requires the ability to work effectively with people who come from a wide range of identities that may intersect. 

Having a shared understanding of what equity, diversity, and inclusion mean in the context of our college is important to reaching these goals.  This page collects resources and captures the evolving dialogue around how we are building necessary skills and framing new mindsets with these topics in mind. Reaching a shared understanding is the first step 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. Overall, we seek to increase intercultural competency and the ability to bridge across differences by using strategies outlined in our strategic plan.

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 cberesponse@uw.edu or make an appointment to see me during my office hours through my assistant bfaulk@uw.edu.  Thank you for taking the time to engage in this meaningful conversation.



Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Justice

These are important words. They are most meaningful when they are used with a shared understanding of what they mean, as more than an ideal or measurable goal, but within the context of collective and applied values, expressed personally and systemically.  Towards that end, the Dean’s Office will be hosting “Hot Topic” discussions, focusing on topics around EDI. 

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

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. It is a process of learning individually and collectively because the patterns of identity, suppression, oppression, and systemic inequity are long-standing.

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

  • Model and 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 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. 


For CBE purposes,

Diversity is a range of human identities, including but not limited to age, creed, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, 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.

Created by the 2016 Equity Council