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University of Washington, Seattle

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway
Box 355852
Seattle, Washington 98195
(206) 543-2100
School Information
"The UW is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, our region and the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked No. 14 in the world on the 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the UW educates more than 54,000 students annually. We turn ideas into impact and transform lives and our world. For more about our impact, visit our news site, UW News. "So what defines our students, faculty and community members? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey." The university also employs over 4,800 faculty and offers academic programs through its 18 colleges and schools. (Source: (Source: (Source:
General Information
The University of Washington, Seattle has launched several initiatives in response to student demands. The university has launched a fund, pledged to re-imagine its policing strategy, and promised to review its existing diversity academic requirement to focus it on systemic inequities. No Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • While highlighting efforts to make UW more "equitable", UW's President noted during a recent speech, "With that in mind, we recently dropped the requirement that UW applicants submit an SAT or ACT score, in part because it created barriers to application and entry for too many. But, no doubt, there is much, much more to be done!"
  • UW's "Diversity Blueprint 2022-2026" makes the following recommendation: "Establish collaborative relationships with central recruitment and outreach services to better coordinate K–12 pathway programs, pathway programs with two-year and tribal colleges, and other initiatives that connect potential students to the University."
  • The University states that it "wholeheartedly welcomes and supports undocumented students of all ethnicities and nationalities." Furthermore, it provides "financial aid" and "campus resources" for undocumented students and encourages them to apply.
  • In a statement responding to the Supreme Court's affirmative action ruling, the University said the decision "created much disappointment and concern for many who have been working hard to ensure that our colleges and universities were truly accessible to all, including those who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized." The University affirmed the "affirmative action ruling won’t change our values or our mission" and that it "remains wholeheartedly committed to [its] values and conviction that diversity, equity and belonging are intrinsic requirements for educational success and for the success of our society."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • UW's Human Resources Department offers a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion related professional trainings which include an "inclusive pronoun" training.
  • UW's "Diversity Blueprint 2022-2026" makes the following recommendation: "Regularly offer education and training within the unit that addresses anti-racism, sovereignty, equity, broad diversity, neurodiversity, access, belonging, and other relevant DEI topics."
  • The Antiracist Leadership Institute is a 2-day summit "grounded in humanist and anti-racist practice inspired by African Ubuntu cultural and philosophical perspectives." The goal of the institute is to "Provide an open and challenging space, geared toward participants of ALL ethnic backgrounds, who are committed to understanding power, privilege, white supremacy, white privilege, oppression and antiracist leadership."
  • The University requires that "all undergraduates take a minimum of 3 credits, approved by the appropriate school or college, that focus on the sociocultural, political, and/or economic diversity of the human experience at local, regional, or global levels."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The university will consider re-making its existing diversity requirement, saying, "We support a re-examination of the diversity requirement with the goal of both increasing the number of credits required and giving it a clearer focus on BIPOC populations, systemic inequities and social justice."
  • UW's "Diversity Blueprint 2022-2026" makes the following recommendation: "Develop understandings of the history of student activism on our campuses and of the history of activism in our local communities. Incorporate these understandings into relevant curricula and programming."
  • On May 1, 2017, UW reported that in 2016, the School of Public Health "passed a new school-wide competency specifically addressing the effects of racism on public health."
  • The University states, "Inclusion is core to our work at the University of Washington and foundational to effective teaching."
Disciplinary Measures
  • UW provides a form for students, faculty, and staff to report an incident of bias. (This reporting tool was created in partnership with the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, the Office of Student Life and the president’s Race & Equity Initiative.) 
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • An "Implicit Bias" training "is required for all hiring managers... and is encouraged for all staff." The required training modules are meant to "support employees’ efforts to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace."
  • The University requires "Anti-racism and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B)" training for all "staff, faculty, and other academic personnel." The training is "designed to educate on a range of DEI&B topics such as racism, disability and accessibility, and LGBTQ+ identities, and to highlight how these issues affect colleagues and students at the University of Washington."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center released a "statement of solidarity" that stated, "Our communities are vulnerable and continue to be targeted by those who seek to exert power and privilege with the goal of spreading hate and oppression." It continued, "We must work together to fight for members of our Black community, to resist, expose and disrupt systematic power structures that threaten to carry out discrimination and violence against Black people."
Program and Research Funding
  • "The first [hiring initiative] will focus on hiring more faculty whose teaching, research and service include areas directly related to social and racial inequities and/or racism and its various manifestations through history and into the present. Examples include how racism affects health and the health care system, why environmental degradation disproportionately affects communities of color, the role of race in the criminal justice system, and how the marketplace fails underserved communities."
  • UW's School of Public Health announced the launch of the Center for Anti-Racism and Community Health (ARCH) which would "serve as a community-driven academic hub focused on the critical interrogation and disruption of racism and racialization within systems while centering those most impacted by legacies of U.S. colonization." The goal of ARCH is to "co-develop a structure that includes opportunities for consultation, collaboration and partnership, advocacy and activism, and shared decision-making with Black and Indigenous communities as a form of reparations for legacies of slavery, genocide, and assimilation."
  • On September 8, 2020, UW's President sent a memo to the BSU (Black Student Union) Executive Committee which states, "After listening to BSU about your concerns and needs, we established the Black Opportunity Fund to fund strategic priorities that meet immediate and ongoing needs of our Black students and faculty."
  • UW College of Education's Center for Multicultural Education focuses on "research projects and activities designed to improve practice related to equity issues, intergroup relations, and the achievement of all students." The Center also "engages in services and teaching related to its research mission."
  • "The Black Opportunity Fund" supports "educational enhancement" through "educational support tools, academic and tutoring, support for global experiences with a Black focus" along with the "development of Black speaker series open to the entire campus community, and more." It also invests in "Black Community" and "Innovation/Stretch Programs."
  • The College of Arts and Sciences is supporting an "Inclusive and Antiracist Pedagogy" initiative with workshops on "Tools for Racial Justice" to "establish a framework for antiracist pedagogy" and "Inclusive Pedagogy" which "[provides] resources and strategies to help instructors build more inclusive learning environments." Select participants who complete the program "will receive a $1,000 course development grant to support the continued creation/modifications of their courses."
  • There are a number of "Equity, Justice, and Inclusion" (EJI) resources for faculty, including "College-level funding for co-sponsorship of EJI-related events." According to the College of Arts and Sciences, "funds may be used toward hosting departmental DEIA workshops and trainings, spearheading EJI-focused campus events, supporting guest speakers for courses, etc."
  • The Ethnic Cultural Center offers a "Diversity Leadership Development Certificate Program" where students will learn to "articulate their intersectional identities" and "deepen their understanding of how diversity and equity intersect with leadership." Furthermore, students in the program are required to attend the "Diversity Leadership Conference" to fulfill the "mandatory Social Justice Focused Event."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • UW President announced initiatives to "reimagine" campus safety: "We are undertaking a reimagining of campus safety that takes a more holistic approach and minimizes the presence of armed police on our Seattle campus while continuing to keep safety among our highest priorities. I will soon be announcing a town hall to engage in a discussion of what aspects of public safety can be better served by non-armed safety responders and/or by those with more mental health training and how to develop a more appropriate workforce to meet those needs."
  • The Police Department has a "Biased Policing Policy" with the purpose "to affirm the commitment to unbiased policing at the University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) and to establish procedures that serve to ensure the public that UWPD is providing professional and ethical service and enforcing laws in a fair and equitable manner." An annual review is released "to determine if there is  any disparate impact to any of the identified community groups or members" and following its release, "the Chief [reviews] the annual analysis to determine if there are patterns or trends that could indicate training needs and/or policy modifications."
  • UW libraries has created a "Racial Justice Resources: Antiracism and Solidarity" site.
  • IT Connect offers an IT Inclusive Language Guide.
  • UW's Health Sciences Library offers an in-depth list of "Critical Race Theory Readings" which includes a category devoted to "Children and Youth."
  • UW's Department of English links to many publications, research articles, and graduate dissertations on the topics of critical race theory and racism.
  • UW's Human Resources Department offers a variety of "Inclusive Hiring" resources which include "Tools for evaluating applicants" which suggests asking candidates to "provide diversity statements and use DEI-related questions in your interviewing."
  • On December 20, 2004, UW published its comprehensive "Diversity Appraisal Report" which outlines its diversity initiatives and strategies across the University.
  • UW published a comprehensive list of "Anti-Racism" resources for "all who would like to gain a deeper understanding of historical and present-day manifestations of racism in the United States."
  • UW's Center for Teaching and Learning offers resources for teachers who are committed to promoting inclusive and equitable learning outcomes. The Center states the following: "Instructors who pursue an inclusive teaching practice value the diverse strengths that they and their students bring to the classroom, and also acknowledge the systems of power and privilege that shape the learning environment. By teaching inclusively, we play a part in creating a more just society."
  • UW's Diversity Council "advises the Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity and University Diversity Officer and works to ensure that diversity, expressed in various forms, remains integral to excellence at the University of Washington campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma."
  • The University hosts an annual "Diversity Leadership Conference" to "strengthen [students'] leadership skills and cultural awareness, engage in critical dialogues about activism and social justice, and network with peers and professionals from similar backgrounds and experiences."
  • The University's Professional and Organizational Development program offers courses for staff and faculty. The Winter 2024 course catalog includes a section on Diversity & Inclusion and provides the following classes, "A Practical Approach to Anti-Racism," "Exploring Cultural Competence," "Supervising in a Diverse Workplace," "The Erosion of Empathy," "What's the Word: Inclusivity in Language," and "White Allyship Transformation."
  • The University provides resources for faculty on "inclusive teaching" and "addressing microaggressions" in the classroom.
  • The Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center "is an inclusive and affirming space that cultivates a transformative student experience" to "serve and empower historically marginalized and underrepresented students by providing educational and cultural opportunities for holistic development."
  • The University's Ethnic Cultural Center has a "Social Justice Library." The library hosts over 600 books with titles such as "Promise And A Way Of Life: White Antiracist Activism,"  "Portraits of White Racism," and "Whiteness: Feminist Philosophical Reflections" among others.  
Symbolic Actions
  • In response to demands to tear down certain monuments, the University said, "We support a re-examination of campus symbols, figures or names that are connected with racism, past or present. We also believe it is important to consider additional opportunities for symbols or namings that more fully recognize BIPOC contributions to our community, especially to our state and university."
  • Cultural graduations are held annually through the "Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity" and the "Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center." The University hosts Filippino, "Undocu" (undocumented), Latine, Pasifik, Native, and Black graduation ceremonies.
  • The University has a "Race & Equity Initiative" to "directly confront bias and racism at the individual, institutional and systemic levels." The initiative's theory of change focuses on "confronting individual bias and racism," "transforming institutional policies and practices" and "accelerating systemic change."
Last updated February 2nd, 2024
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