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Evergreen State College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Lib 1200
Olympia, Washington 98505
(360) 867-6170
Email address
School Information
"Evergreen is a public liberal arts and sciences college located in Olympia, Washington, between Seattle and Portland, in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Evergreen attracts students inspired by the complexity of the world. Our non-traditional approach to study and curriculum prepares students for the way life happens now. We allow the freedom and creativity to pursue passions, while layering academic disciplines. At Evergreen, students collaborate with close-knit faculty to focus on how they want to uniquely impact our ever-changing world" (Source: Evergreen State offers over 45 fields of study. Its student to faculty ratio is 21 to 1 and the total enrollment is nearly 4,000.
General Information
In 2017, Evergreen State College was involved in a large controversy when a professor sued the university after being labelled a racist by protesting students. The long standing tradition at Evergreen was for students and faculty of color to leave campus on one day to symbolically demonstrate their contribution. This tradition was reversed one year when white students and faculty were asked to leave. Dr. Bret Weinstein sued and did gain a settlement from Evergreen. More recently, Evergreen's 2020-2023 Strategic Plan involves goals of inclusion and equity on campus. Evergreen recently invited new leadership in order to carry out the mission of the Strategic Plan. Evergreen currently infuses topics of race and diversity throughout its curriculum and plans to initiate diversity training soon. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Evergreen's leadership stated, "We will aim to use our collective skills in anti-racist and anti-oppression education to promote community awareness and racial healing through a range of coordinated programming, workshops, and opportunities for learning about the historical legacies and contemporary manifestations of racial injustices, and to work together to imagine a world beyond racial hierarchies."
  • Through "college-wide activities, training, and initiatives," Evergreen will "support a complex campus culture and promote dialogue and discourse across significant differences in all parts of the college and its offerings."
  • Regarding racial equity and social justice, Evergreen states, "We participate in Equity and Social Justice trainings at the individual, divisional, and institutional levels."
  • Evergreen's "eLearning for Educators" online course series includes a course titled "Equity Concepts: Mindset-Equity and Inclusion, Implicit Bias, and Repairing Harm."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Evergreen committed to "integrate black history and contributions into our curriculum in arts, sciences, and technical classes and programs."
  • As of the 2016-2017 academic year, 84% of undergraduate programs "address oppression, privilege, and difference."
Program and Research Funding
  • Evergreen has a President's Equity Fund which "provides funding to equity and inclusion initiatives and programming." This fund will "particularly encourage proposals that advance racial justice and support members of our black community."
  • Annually, Evergreen has a day of absence where students and faculty of color leave campus as a way to symbolically ensure their impact and contribution on campus is felt. In 2017, the opposite happened: white students and faculty were asked to voluntarily take a day of absence. When Professor Bret Weinstein questioned this move and stated that he felt this was an act of oppression, he was labelled a racist on campus and harassed by students. This compelled himself and his wife, also a professor, to sue the college and to leave their positions as professors. They gained a settlement from Evergreen as a result. The college library provides many articles on this matter.
  • The college library provides an Anti-Racism research guide. This research guide comprises numerous resources such as books, videos, and articles. Ibram X. Kendi's book, "How to Be an Anti-Racist," is recommended in this list.
  • Evergreen's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment "conducts a variety of research and assessment projects related to diversity at Evergreen."
  • As part of Evergreen's core theme of diversity and equity, the college provides "outreach programs' that "facilitate greater connections for underserved populations."
  • Evergreen provides an Inclusive Community Leadership Certificate.
  • In June 2021, Evergreen brought in a new interim president and executive vice president. Dr. Dexter Gordon will serve as the executive vice president, and he was the previous director of the African American studies program at the University of Puget. He also founded the Race and Pedagogy Institute at the university. Evergreen made these changes in leadership in order to "advance our strategic plans at an energetic pace" and "evolve in appropriate new directions to serve students."
  • As part of Evergreen's 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, Evergreen will "design, develop, and execute interventions to strengthen equity, inclusion, and belonging for students, faculty, and staff experience." The college will also conduct a climate survey and analyze the results in order to "identify the aspects of campus climate that undermine a sense of belonging and create barriers to an inclusive education."
  • On April 7, 2023, Evergreen held a lecture by King’s College Emeritus Professor John Howard. Howard is a Queer Studies scholar whose work is "informed by queer, feminist, materialist, critical race, and spatial theory..."
  • The "Writing Trauma" course is part of Evergreen's Fall 2023 catalog and its description reads in part, "We’ll study writing about trauma experienced as a result of systemic racism, white supremacy, colonialism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, ageism, war, and more."
  • The "Native Pathways Program: Settler Colonialism Across North America (Peninsula)" is part of Evergreen's Fall 2023 course catalog and is described in part as follows: "'Essentially hegemonic in scope, settler colonialism normalizes the continuous settler occupation, exploiting lands and resources to which indigenous peoples have genealogical relationships. Settler colonialism includes interlocking forms of oppression, including racism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism'."
  • The Environmental Justice Certificate program at Evergreen "examines the ways in which communities of color and other historically marginalized groups are disproportionately burdened with environmental hazards" and studies "racial identify development theory."
  • In the summer of 2023, Evergreen offered a course titled "Student Originated Studies: Justice Research," which is described as follows: "Learning objectives include investigations into class, race and gender informed by readings from one common class text: Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusive Excellence: Transdisciplinary and Global Perspectives by Asumah and Nagel, and by focused student research. Teaching and learning across significant differences is the underlying goal of this learning community's work. Together we will learn to identify, research, and analyze social justice themes and investigate how to best implement meaningful change."
  • The Evergreen State College "Strategic Directions 2020-2026" report states the following regarding diversity in its curriculum: "It is important to note that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are central principles for the initiative, which is reflected in each curriculum proposal... Further, planning Evergreen’s future during a pandemic that has impacted BIPOC communities disproportionately and a renewed national movement to interrogate and address racial equity in the United States clarified the critical need to consider how new curricula, systems, and structures empower and provide new opportunities for students from traditionally underserved and minoritized groups."
  • The "Psychology: Black Psychology and the Psychology of Marginalized Communities" course provides "opportunities for students to examine personal biases, our understanding of implicit bias, and how cultural values shape our understanding of identity and personal agency."
Symbolic Actions
  • On July 29, 2020, Evergreen joined local colleges in stating "we want alumni who are prepared to live and lead with diversity, equity, and inclusion as a framework that guides all that they do in our community." Furthermore, the leadership said that "the focus in this moment needs to be on our Black students, staff, and faculty."
  • In response to Derek Chauvin's conviction, the college released a statement saying, "Derek Chauvin’s conviction Tuesday on all counts in the murder of George Floyd marks the latest chapter in our ongoing national reckoning on race and policing. Our relief that justice prevailed in this case does not reverse the fact that George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. The nation witnessed as Floyd’s life ebbed away on the pavement. The video that helped convict Chauvin also starkly exposed the ingrained systemic injustice still very much present in our country."
Last updated October 18th, 2023
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