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Courtney Acoff, ’20 | At-Large Trustee

Class of 2010, UW Tacoma, Bachelors of Arts, Communication

Why I Serve

I was born and raised in Tacoma. As a high school student, I toured Washington state’s universities and the UW stood out for its diverse culture. I felt at home. I received a scholarship from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was part of UW Tacoma’s first freshman class.

I became pregnant as a high school senior. It was challenging to be a single mom and university student, but attending UW Tacoma made it possible for me to continue both successfully. I was able to stay in my own community and that increased affordability and access to resources. I also benefited from tremendous mentors. I was particularly empowered by a Black professor who told me my voice mattered. I felt a sense of joy being in her class. I carry that into my professional career and community service. I build bridges and bring people to the table who often aren’t heard.

When I was a student, issues of diversity, equity and inclusion weren’t discussed. I’m now a Certified Diversity Consultant and endeavor to bring my training and lived experience to the UW Board of Trustees. As an institution, our dedication to these topics must go beyond statements. We must live it. My daughter will soon be heading to college. The four-year-old who wore a UW cheerleading uniform to my graduation may soon become a Husky herself. The future is now.


Courtney Acoff currently serves as the Pierce County district representative for Rep. Kilmer’s Office (WA-6). She previously worked for 13 years at Metro Parks Tacoma in a range of roles including as community outreach and engagement specialist, which furthered her work on behalf of serving marginalized communities. As a certified diversity consultant, her focus is to acknowledge the intersectionality of life, along with the complexity those intersections bring to service organizations.

Courtney also serves on the board as a commissioner to the Human Rights Commission for the City of Tacoma and the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and attending her children’s sports games.