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Seattle University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
901 12th Ave
Seattle, Washington 98122
(206) 296-6000
Email address
School Information
Seattle University, founded in 1891, is a Jesuit Catholic university located on 50 acres in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. More than 8,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools and colleges. The Wall Street Journal ranks Seattle University as the #1 private university in the Northwest. U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2018" ranks Seattle University among the top ten universities in the West that offer a full range of masters and undergraduate programs for the 17th consecutive year. Seattle University has 78,000 living alumni world wide with just under 52,000 living in the state of Washington, 48,000 in Puget Sound and 18,000 in the Seattle Metro area.
General Information
Leading faculty at Seattle University signed a letter committing to racial equity and antiracism. The University founded a program called “LIFT SU” to advance these causes through summits, events, reading lists, bias prevention taskforces, and reading recommendations. There is no evidence Seattle University mandates critical race theory or antiracist training among students or faculty.

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On June 29, 2023, the university's President issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads: "Because our commitment to diversity is intrinsic to our mission, it is also ultimately rooted in our Jesuit, Catholic character. This understanding takes on added significance in light of today's disappointing U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, which will likely hinder the ability of many universities to achieve a diverse student body. At Seattle University, we will continue to use every tool consistent with the law to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive academic community."
  • The university's 2022-2027 Strategic Plan states that it would "fully implement the LIFT SU initiative, improving our recruitment and retention of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) students, faculty and staff...."
  • Goal one of the LIFT SU "action plan for racial equity and antiracism" is the "recruitment & retention of BIPOC students."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs “supports critical learning on diversity and inclusion” by providing numerous workshops and trainings on topics including “Understanding Structural Inequalities and Oppression, Deconstructing Systems of Privilege,” as well as Social Justice Advocacy.
  • The Sundborg Center for Community Engagement at SU is committed "to living and leading as an anti-racist organization" through "[e]nhancing individual and collective racial equity professional development for CCE staff, student leaders, volunteers and our partners."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the Reigniting Our Strategic Directions Plan 2022-2027, Seattle University will reimagine and revise their curriculum to embed “racial injustice and widening economic inequity.” The university will “provide our schools, colleges, and departments the opportunity and resources to develop a revised curriculum, including the undergraduate Core Curriculum.”
  • The Department of Social Work states, "All courses in our curriculum, rather than one or two designated 'diversity' courses, examine issues of social justice." The program's social justice focus includes "Anti-Oppressive Analysis and Practice" as well as "Critical Pedagogy (including multiple critical theories)."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The University President, along with each Cabinet member and Dean signed a pledge of "Commitment to Live and Lead for Racial Equity and Antiracism."
  • LIFT SU "takes strategic action to address systemic racism." It prioritizes "affirmation of and allyship with our Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community at Seattle University."
Program and Research Funding
  • As a part of the Reimagining and Revising Our Curriculum plan, the 2021 Pilot Initiative on Anti-Racist Education: Curriculum Development Cohort “provides financial support for faculty to pursue projects which focus on integrating anti-racism into curricula.”
  • The Race, Racialization, and Resistance in the United States curricular project within the College of Arts and Sciences was recently made possible by a Mellon Foundation grant of $495,000. The aim of the project is to "enable faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to design courses that explore the complex processes of the construction of race in the U.S. in global contexts."
  • The Sundborg Center for Community Engagement at SU "strives to live and lead as an anti-racist organization" and is "committed to anti-racist practices that honor the full humanity of all community members and collaborate across cultures and generations."
  • "LIFT SU" was founded as an "action plan for racial equity and antiracism." It "offers a beginning response further evolving our university commitment to inclusive academic excellence."
  • Seattle University’s Lemieux Library provides a number of resources on systemic racism, social justice and equity, microaggressions, and racial justice reads from authors including Ibram X. Kendi and Robin Diangelo among many others.
  • Seattle University compiled a list of resources including books faculty wrote on inclusive excellence.
  • A course, PUBA-3200 Diversity & Soc Just in Wrkplc, is offered at the school, centering on “embodied diversity and social justice leadership praxis.”
  • The course, CMME-3201 Reporting for Social Change, focuses on “inclusive and empathetic narratives about marginalized or underrepresented subjects.”
  • SOCL-3320 Race and Ethnicity is a course offered at the school. This course focuses on “the social construction of race and ethnicity” and “the economic and social-psychological dimensions of racism and domination.”
  • THRS-2204 Gender, Race and Eco-Theology includes a discussion of “environmental racism and climate injustice.”
  • The class, THRS-2202 Social Justce & Christn Ethics, discusses “resistance to systemic racism/white supremacy as a specific social justice concern.”
  • Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit is Director and Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University and has "published on the application of critical race theory in nonprofit management education."
Symbolic Actions
  • From January through March of 2022, the university hosted a month of meditations on racial justice in a reading and reflection group on The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice with Ignatius of Loyola.
  • On May 13, 2022, the university hosted a lunch and conversation on the Ignatian Work of Racial Justice where “faculty and staff reflect on how the Jesuit Catholic mission informs their anti-racist efforts and on their experiences at Seattle University working toward racial justice.” The event is “meant to inspire collaboration and deeper integration of the Jesuit Catholic mission and the work of racial justice.”
  • The Lemieux Library at Seattle University will focus on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan to present “goals aimed at advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism at the Lemieux Library.”
  • Seattle University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted a Faculty and Staff of Color Retreat in March of 2022 as a “dedicated space to focus on connection and healing as acts of liberation.”
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) hosts a monthly OMA Speaks Community Dialogue in an effort to “create opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to engage in meaningful dialogue about current topics related to identity, diversity, and inclusion.”
  • On May 4, 2023, the Leadership Committee on Intersectionality and Justice at the College of Arts and Sciences hosted the "’Inclusive Conversation Series." in order to “build our learning community upon the principles of anti-racism, anti-oppression and intersectionality.”
  • On April 19, 2023, Seattle University held the second Racial Equity Summit which “drew nearly a thousand people to deepen their understanding and build collaborative capacity to pursue antiracist education.”
  • On February 2, 2023, the school held an event on “The Social Determinants of Race-based Trauma and Collective Healing” as part of the Red Talks series going on throughout 2022-2023.
  • On October 15, 2022, the school announced the creation of programs such as the “Educating for Justice and Professional Development” and the “Constructive Dialogue Series.”
  • On January 25, 2023, Seattle University hosted the “Advancing Racial Equity Series” within the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.
  • As part of its recommendations to get involved in environmental justice, the school states that people should “be an anti-racist.”
  • As part of its mission, vision, and values, the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement at SU states the following: "We must actively reject the 'white savior complex', and instead collaborate in solidarity across racial difference in equitable relationships. The more open discussion of the reality and impact of systemic racism, the better equipped we are to pursue a more just and humane world ... #BlackLivesMatter."
Last updated June 29th, 2024
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