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Building and Bridging Caucus

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


This leadership opportunity creates a group of 5–7 UW professional staff or faculty who are skilled in facilitating conversations about race and difference.


With facilitation by Professor Anu Taranath, staff and faculty caucus members engage in three two-hour training courses where they learn how to create and hold racial caucus spaces and lead conversations about 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 Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” recognition, the UW Distinguished Teaching Award, and multiple U.S. 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 was included in the Oprah magazine’s “Best 26 Travel Books of All Time.” Visit to learn more.


Upon completion of three two-hour training courses, the facilitators support each other as they prepare to lead racial caucus groups at the UW in Seattle. Facilitators serve for six months as part of the Building and Bridging Caucus Network; once the training is complete, they are able to facilitate racial caucus groups across UW colleges, schools and departments in Seattle. These racial dialogue spaces, convened in racial affinity groups, can increase personal and professional knowledge on race and racism for the facilitator and caucus participants.

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


Each staff/faculty facilitator will receive a stipend or professional development funds for their six months of service as a Building and Bridging Caucus leader for the UW community.


The first cohort was inducted into the program in September 2023. Applications are not yet open for the second cohort.