Office of the President

July 28, 2017

Inclusion and non-discrimination are now and will always be core to the UW

Ana Mari Cauce

In light of the news yesterday that the Department of Justice has filed a brief asserting that the Civil Rights Act does not protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination, I feel compelled to reaffirm the University of Washington’s continued commitment to the values of inclusion and non-discrimination for all people. As Selisse Berry, founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, has said, “No one should ever have to choose between a career we love and living our lives with authenticity and integrity.” These values are core to our culture as a community of students and educators and as an employer.

LGBTQ rights are human rights. The Justice Department’s brief – even as it is being downplayed by some – has the potential to expose more people to workplace discrimination and signals broadly that discrimination against gays and lesbians is acceptable. This is a dangerous and destructive precedent that will have real consequences in people’s lives.

Diversity and inclusion are integral to our University not only because discrimination is wrong and harmful to people, but because we need everyone’s ideas, efforts and voices to succeed in the countless endeavors our faculty, staff and students are engaged in to make the world a better place. To build a better future for everyone, we need everyone at the table.

I will continue to stand and speak for inclusion and equality – as a president and as a person. Together we have exponentially more power to solve the very real challenges that affect us all.