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Building and Bridging Caucus

Program Description

The Building and Bridging Racial Caucus Network is an exploratory program created under the auspices of the University Diversity Officer. This effort aims to offer administrative units, schools and colleges one opportunity to build capacity towards their own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals and the goals stated in The UW Diversity Blueprint. It also offers staff and faculty the opportunity to build racial caucus leadership skills and provide meaningful service to the UW community.


This leadership opportunity will develop a group of 5-7 University of Washington (UW) professional staff or faculty (facilitators) skilled in facilitating conversations about race and difference.


Facilitated by Dr. Anu Taranath, staff and faculty caucus facilitators will engage in three two-hours training course where they will learn how to create and hold racial caucus spaces and lead conversations about relationships to race/racism, difference, intersectionality and identity, and collective responsibility for dismantling racism.

About the Training Facilitator:

Dr. Anu Taranath brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator, author and educator. A University of Washington professor for the past 20+ years, she has received the Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” recognition, the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and multiple US Fulbright Fellowships to work abroad. As a DEI and racial equity consultant Dr. Anu offers coaching, training and facilitation services, and has partnered with over 300 clients from Amazon to the Raging Grannies. Her book Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World was named a finalist for several book awards including the Washington State Book Award and included in Oprah Magazine’s “Best 26 Travel Books of All Times.” Please visit to learn more.


Upon completion of three, two-hour, training courses, the facilitators will support each other as they prepare to lead racial caucus groups within the UW Seattle Campus. Facilitators will serve for six months as part of the Building and Bridging Caucus Network; once the training is complete, they will be able to facilitate racial caucus groups across UW Seattle colleges, schools, and departments. These racial dialogue spaces can foster both personal and professional knowledge expansion on race/racism within racial affinity groups for the Facilitator and caucus participants.

The UW community can benefit from exploring this program model as we strive to foster connections, growth, and a deeper sense of belonging. This program has the potential to bring about stronger alignment with broad campus goals around belonging and aims to improve campus climate overall.


The staff/faculty facilitator will receive a stipend or professional development funds for their six months of service as a building and bridging leader for the UW community.

Future Cohorts

We are admitting 5-7 people for this pilot program. If you are not selected for this initial launch of the program, you may still be eligible to participate in the future.

Important Dates

  • Submission period | July 11th – August 11th, 2023
  • Committee review timeline | mid-August, 2023
  • Notifications | the week of August 28, 2023
  • Welcome Gathering | September 18th, 2023 – 12 pm – 1 pm
  • Session 1 | October 5, 2023 – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Session 2 | October 12, 2023 – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Session 3 | October19, 2023 – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm