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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 that touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot nations. We pledge to collaborate with local indigenous communities to co-create more equitable and sustainable built environments.

Dean’s Message

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

Dean Cheng sitting with two men one in a red shirt and one in a gray shirt looking at something in the distance

At CBE, 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.

This page represents our first steps in developing systems that align with our values. We are working on more specific EDI strategies through our amazing Diversity Council.

We are curious to hear your thoughts on 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.



Our EDI Approach

At CBE, we’re dedicating ourselves as a community to engaging in active anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices and imagining the future of built environments with more equity and joy. Our strength lies in the diversity of our programs and the breadth of perspectives that our students, faculty, and staff bring to our work.
It’s imperative that CBE acknowledges the role that our disciplines and practices have played in constructing and upholding racial and other inequities in the built environment. We dedicate ourselves to transforming these oppressive approaches and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion as a community.
As a college, 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 in all CBE courses, and center the voices of historically underrepresented communities.
    • Consider equity and justice in defining research approaches, processes, and outcomes.
    • Cultivate an inclusive college culture that reflects the racial diversity of the state and the nation.

CBE launched a college-wide initiative on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) that specifically fosters intercultural competency across the college. Intercultural competency is the ability to effectively understand and adapt to differences, and has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to achieve EDI goals. CBE, along with other higher education institutions, has adopted this method in partnership with the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

A summary of the initiative and its components appear in the appendix to this report.

See our work towards equity, diversity, and inclusion

CBE Diversity Council

The College Diversity Council is composed of faculty, staff, and students from all five departments in our college. The Council is chaired by Lynne Manzo.

Professor Lynne Manzo is also the CBE representative for the UW Diversity Council.

Please reach out to either Lynne Manzo with any ideas, questions, or concerns related to EDI work at the college. Feel free to contact the Diversity Council at or to reach the chair.