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About OMA&D

Honoring Place

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.*


The Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) has its roots in student-led activism and society’s calls for equity and change. On May 20, 1968, members of the Black Student Union and their supporters occupied the office of UW President Charles E. Odegaard. The activists demanded an increase in minority student enrollment, an increase in minority faculty and administrators and the establishment of a program in Black studies. UW administration responded by appointing Dr. Charles Evans special assistant to the president who established the Special Education Program, the forerunner of what became the Office of Minority Affairs in 1970. This new office was given dedicated funds, a clear mandate and a visionary leader, Dr. Samuel E. Kelly who assumed the role of vice president, also in 1970. The first African American senior administrator at the UW, Dr. Kelly helped open doors for hundreds of underrepresented minority, educationally and economically disadvantaged students. Many of the innovative programs he and his staff developed continue to this day. OMA&D celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2023.

Historical Timeline


We create pathways for diverse populations to access postsecondary opportunities, nurture and support their academic success, and cultivate a campus climate that enriches the educational experience for all.


We are leaders in advancing equity for underrepresented groups in higher education, and build from our legacy of advocacy to promote broad inclusion and enact positive change.


Excellence – We follow the highest standards of quality as practitioners, researchers and staff who serve American Indian/Alaska Native, underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged populations, and those who are first in their families to attend college. We hold each other accountable to model diversity, engage in creative thinking to advance new and powerful ideas, and act with integrity and compassion.
Equity – We embrace and find strength in the diversity of our campus and surrounding community. We are committed to providing students, faculty and staff the tools and resources needed to be successful.
Access – We design multiple pathways for opportunity and success.
Community – We create a supportive and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff.
Social Justice – We raise consciousness and advance critical thinking about racial equity, broad inclusion and diversity.
Innovation – We challenge ourselves to be an innovative leader in higher education. We seek new and cutting-edge programs that promote access, equity and inclusion.


Our programs serve:

  • Over 24,000 students in 85 school districts, 179 schools and 19 two-year colleges through the state of Washington as they prepare and plan for college
  • Over 6,000 UW undergraduate students with new student orientation, academic advising, instructional support, mentoring, financial aid and scholarship opportunities
  • 450 students as they prepare for, apply to, and succeed in graduate and professional programs

Learn More about OMA&D

*The language we use to honor place was developed over the course of several years by the UW Tribal Liaison with input from tribal elders, elected tribal leaders, attendees of the annual UW Tribal Leadership Summit, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, UW Native American Advisory Board and others across our community. This language template is spoken by UW leadership during events to acknowledge that our campus sits on occupied land. We recognize that this is a difficult, painful and long history, and we thank the original caretakers of this land.