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Sweetened beverage taxes produce net economic benefits for lower-income communities

New research from the University of Washington, published June 2 in Food Policy, addressed equity issues surrounding sweetened beverage taxes by examining the economic equity impacts of sweetened beverage taxes in three cities: Seattle, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Philip Hurvitz, affiliate associate professor of urban design and planning is a co-author. | UW News

CBE launches EDIFY event series

EDIFY movie night banner with film strip

Our EDIFY event series was established in spring 2022 by the CBE Diversity Council as a way to explore issues around equity, diversity and inclusion in the built environment, through the lens of creative expression.  Our inaugural event for the CBE community was focused on the medium of short films, featuring a collection centered on the topic of equity, diversity and inclusion in the built environments.  The films were selected to reflect on the theme: “Acknowledging Land: Past, Present, and Future”.  Faculty, staff and students gathered for an evening to screen the shorts together and inspire conversation.

EDIFY was launched and organized by CBE staff members Claudine Manio and Nancy Dragun, in collaboration with UW Cinema & Media Studies lecturer Warren Etheredge.  A veteran film producer and festival programmer, Etheredge … something from Warren about why these films were chosen

Films shown included the following:

(1:58) Baroness von Sketch

(6:03) Seattle Channel

(2:28) Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture

(17:42) Mark Lopez

(3:00) Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture

(20:44) Jimmy Goldblum

(3:00) Brodie Kerst / AIA Film Challenge 2021

(6:40) Evan Mather

(2:57) Lahmi Kim / AIA Film Challenge 2021

(13:46) Justyn Ah Chong


Programming was inspired by this question: the University of Washington has a land acknowledgement, but why is land acknowledgement important?

Throughout history, land has been a symbol of power and wealth, oftentimes acquired and developed by displacing those without either. The history, sense of place, and rich culture that took generations to build are dishonored and erased. The UW Land Acknowledgement brings awareness to the longstanding history of the indigenous people of the land on which our university sits. However, land acknowledgement should not exist in the past tense. It is an ongoing process – continuing today and into the future within our city and cities around the world.

Through the series of short films we drew connections between a variety of narratives about land “values”- in our country and abroad. From the stage manager who just wants to get on with the show, to the historian who animates redlining, to the developer reimagining suburban LA, to the Syrian architect tirelessly recreating home, this collection of short films encourages us to reconsider whose land we live on and how we all might become better stewards and better neighbors. Each film serves as a case study which invites us to reflect on the historical, cultural, political, and ecological impacts on land.

Honoring Black History Month – A Message from the CBE Diversity Council

The CBE Diversity Council, made up of Faculty, Staff, and Students, recently shared a message in honor of Black History Month that celebrates the contributions of a few Black scholars and built environment professionals. We invite you to take the time to honor Black History Month and participate in the observance in some way! Read the message below and see a selection of resources shared to help you in your learning about justice, equity, and inclusion.

Dear CBE Community,

As we enter February, we begin the celebration of Black History Month, an annual observance that was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. This observance was then formally recognized by the US president in 1976, and has been practiced ever since. Now, in 2022, in the face of continued oppression and structural racism, we continue to celebrate Black History Month as a way to honor Black life, voices, history and art and the African diasporic peoples who have built this nation.

We wish to honor the contributions of Black scholars and built environment professionals who have thrived despite racism to help build a better world. We call out a few initiatives that have inspired us, including:

Nehemiah Initiative created to empower the African-American community by to supporting the retention of historically Black institutions by advocating for development of real property assets owned by historically Black institutions

Wa Na Wari – a Seattle Central Area-based non-profit organization that creates space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection

CBE Black History Highlight

Here we would like to highlight a member of our community, Maisha Barnett, a recent CBE graduate and staff member currently in the role of Assistant to the Associate Deans.  Maisha and her family have had profound and lasting impacts on the City of Seattle and WA State more broadly.  Her great paternal grandfather, John Conna, was head of the first Black family in Tacoma and was recently honored with the City of Federal Way Black History Month Proclamation.  A successful Real Estate Broker, Conna actively recruited African Americans to migrate to the PNW and later became the first Black political appointee in the history of Washington.  In addition, Maisha’s paternal grandfather, Powell Samuel Barnett, was a Seattle-based musician, civil rights activist, and African American community leader.  He was recognized for his work during his life and in 1969 Powell Barnett Park was named for him.  Maisha’s father, Douglas Quinton Barnett, was a Black theater and arts advocate recognized posthumously with Douglas Q. Barnett Street named in his honor in November 2020.  Maisha carries on the legacy and impact that her family has had in Seattle through her work in public space development and service on numerous park boards and commissions.  We are proud to have her as part of our CBE community!

For those interested in learning more around justice, equity, and inclusion, check out the list below, which represents just some of the vast resources on this subject.

Please take the time to honor Black History Month and participate in the observance in some way!

In solidarity,

CBE Diversity Council

*Some of the resources below were pulled from existing sources across campus and we thank the School of Public Health and the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, among others, for their work and willingness to share

READ – books, essays, articles, poems

  • Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, by bell hooks

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates

  • Black Landscapes Matter by Kofi Boone

  • Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African-Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney

  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

  • Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown

  • Gang of Four by Bob Santos

  • Gather the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

  • Heavy by Kiese Layman

  • Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric Thomas

  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and other writings by Maya Angelou

  • Incognegro by Mat Johnson

  • Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope by Karamo Brown

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

  • March by John Lewis

  • Miles Morales Spider Man by Jason Reynolds

  • My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor

  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches and other works by Audre Lorde

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks

  • The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker

  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • The Inner Work of Racial Justice by Rhonda V. Magee

  • The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, and other writings by Langston Hughes

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

  • Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America, by Keisha Blain

  • When Ivory Towers Were Black by Sharon Sutton

  • Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis


LISTEN – music, music videos & podcasts


LOOK – TV, movies, visual art


BUY – Enjoy goods and services from Black-owned businesses


CARE – Mental health & wellbeing resources

College of Built Environments
Diversity Council