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UW Launches Faculty Diversity Initiative

Diversity, in the words of University Diversity Officer Rickey Hall, is everybody’s everyday work. To further accelerate this ongoing work, Provost Mark Richards has launched a Faculty Diversity Initiative to examine the policies, practices, and climate that impact our ability to attract and retain faculty who advance our diversity goals.

The initiative, consistent with Regent Policy 33, includes redirecting University resources to bridge funding that will help departments recruit faculty who will advance the University’s diversity goals. In addition, a subgroup of the Race & Equity Steering Committee will examine best practices across the nation – and within our University – and make recommendations on benchmarks and accountability for recruitment, hiring, and retention in alignment with the UW’s Diversity Blueprint.

Read more about the initiative which builds on the substantial contributions of the Office for Faculty Advancement, the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, the Office of Academic Personnel, and the Office of Research, among others. Further and more critically, this work builds upon the efforts of generations of BIPOC faculty who have voluntarily recruited and mentored additional faculty that advance diversity.



By Jim Davis Thursday, October 8, 2020

Miranda Belarde-Lewis probably was always destined to study art. On her father’s side, she is Zuni Pueblo, a tribe in the Southwest U.S. with a rich aesthetic tradition and love of adornment.

“If there’s something that we could paint on, we’re gonna paint it,” said the University of Washington Information School assistant professor. “We’re gonna make it beautiful.”

On her mother’s side, Belarde-Lewis is Takdeintaan Clan from the Tlingit tribe, one of the Native groups in Alaska who cherish stories of the trickster Raven figure: “There’s this phrase that Ravens like shiny things. So, either way …”

There’s a less happy reason why Belarde-Lewis studies Native American art, a reason that dates back nearly a half a millennium.

“I’m so invested in Native art because it’s something that has survived 500 years of intense colonization,” Belarde-Lewis said. “It represents activities and ceremonies that were directly outlawed and banned and targeted for eradication through various federal policies.”

For many years, the only safe way for American Indians to express their culture was through artwork, commodities often sold to tourists, she said. Belarde-Lewis has studied Native art, first in her work at museums and now in her academic career at the UW.

To further her study, Belarde-Lewis was recently named the inaugural recipient of the Joseph and Jill McKinstry Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Native North American Indigenous Knowledge, the first endowment for the iSchool in this area of study.

The award comes with funding that Belarde-Lewis can use with a great deal of discretion to apply for federal grants, bring speakers to the campus and the community, and aid in other ways with her research.

Associate Professor Emerita Cheryl A. Metoyer, director of the iSchool’s Native North American Indigenous Knowledge research initiative, is ecstatic for her former student and current iSchool colleague. “I’m doing my happy dance,” Metoyer said. “I absolutely could not be more pleased.”

Miranda Belarde-Lewis curated the "Raven and the Box of Daylight" exhibit of works by glass artist Preston Singletary, displayed at the Tacoma Museum of Glass in late 2019.
Miranda Belarde-Lewis curated the “Raven and the Box of Daylight” exhibit of works by glass artist Preston Singletary, displayed at the Tacoma Museum of Glass in late 2019.

The fellowship is a bright spot, but another achievement for Belarde-Lewis is on hold at least for now. Belarde-Lewis curated a Tlingit glass art exhibit called “Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight” created by glass artist Preston Singletary. It features the Tlingit story of how Raven transformed the world.

The exhibit was headed to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian this fall, but the opening has been pushed back due to COVID-19 until at least spring 2021.

Metoyer takes in pride in Belarde-Lewis, recalling fondly watching her former student demonstrate her teaching method to a class when applying for a full-time iSchool position.

“She was able explain not only the process of creating the pottery and all of the layers of symbolism that you see there, but also talk about the information that’s part of the creation process from the start to the finish,” Metoyer said.

The general public often is ignorant of Indigenous issues, Belarde-Lewis said. One of the ways to reclaim the narrative for Native Americans is through art.

“Native art is information,” Belarde-Lewis said. “It’s knowledge, and how that can be expressed on our own terms is just incredibly inspiring and empowering.”

Pictured at top: Miranda Belarde-Lewis gazes at a glass sculpture by artist Preston Singletary at the Tacoma Museum of Glass during a 2019 exhibit. (Photos by Doug Parry)

UW Libraries Immigration Resources

Post from UW Libraries website:

The UW Libraries recognizes that many students and researchers on our campus have been affected by ongoing and recent immigration and travel bans. We are a university and library system that is proud to wholeheartedly welcome and support undocumented students of all ethnicities and nationalities. Undocumented students are eligible for state tuition, state benefits, and resources. Below are resources that may be of use to those who are facing legal difficulties with citizenship and movement in and out of the United States. If you are not sure who to contact, a librarian can point you towards further resources. Communication with a UW Librarian is always confidential and we never release any personal information about you to third parties. UW Student Legal Services, as well as community resources below, hold free legal advice and sessions to take advantage of.

Link to resources 

UW Black Opportunity Fund

We are writing to you because our country has a problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed with fierce clarity the systemic inequality that affects every aspect of life, from who is most likely to be an essential worker to who is most affected by unemployment to who is in the greatest danger of dying from the virus. This urgent wake-up call has been compounded and amplified by the recent police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and too many other Black men and women to name.

This loss of life, safety and opportunity is not coincidence; it extends back to the founding of our country. Racism is everyone’s problem, and we must work together to solve it. Many in our community recognize the need for action and have reached out to ask where they can financially support our Black UW students and create a path for systematic change at the University.

After leadership conversations with the Black Student Union and Black faculty and staff, listening and learning where support is needed most, the UW has created the Black Opportunity Fund through the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. We share this fund with you as a way to make an impact on the lives of our Black students, faculty and staff. We also encourage your support of and investment in Black-led nonprofit and community-based organizations that are critical to the health, growth and success of the Black community.

The UW launched the Race & Equity Initiative five years ago to deepen our commitment to creating a just and equitable world — to confront bias, transform institutional policies, accelerate systemic change and weave this value throughout everything we do. There is still much more to be done. As a public university, we are part of a system that has historically caused harm to marginalized communities, and together we must further our efforts to create a safe, supportive and equitable institution, community and world.

The Black Opportunity Fund has been established to acknowledge the harm that systemic racism has on the Black community, to take action to address these inequities and injustices, and to fund a strategic agenda that meets immediate and ongoing needs of our Black students and faculty.

Your support of the Black Opportunity Fund will make a difference in addressing the systemic racism and inequity hurting the Black community and increase opportunities for Black UW students, faculty and staff to thrive. And when we do that, we will all be better for it. We thank our community for reaching out, and we hope you’ll join us with your voice and actions during this critical time for our nation.

Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology

Rickey Hall
Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity
University Diversity Officer


Race & Equity Initiative Anti-Racism Resources

We present this list for all who would like to gain a deeper understanding of historical and present-day manifestations of racism in the United States. This list of guides and resources is just a small sample of the abundance of resources available online. In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to add resources. We hope these resources will serve to both affirm and support you if you belong to a group that has been impacted by racism and a place to deepen your knowledge of the issues as you take action against racism.


Vice: Self-care tips for Black people who are struggling with this very painful week

Refinery 29: Your Black colleagues may look like they’re okay — chances are they’re not

Mashable: How to be anti-racist 

VOX: What it means to be anti-racist 

The Body Is Not An Apology: 7 ways non black people of color perpetuate anti-Blackness

Psychology Today: Anti-racist action and becoming part of the solution 

Centennial: Twitter explains how To support black lives matter as a non-Black person

American Public Health Association: Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue

The Atlantic: Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case for Reparations” 



Black Lives Matter 

1619 by The New York Times

National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking about race web portal

21 Day Equity Challenge

Guide to Allyship

The Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project

Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites

About Black Perspectives

Racial Equity Tools

Seattle Racial and Social Justice Initiative

Racial Equity Glossary


Resources for parents: How to talk to kids about race and racism

NPR: Why all parents should talk to their children about race and social identity Raising race conscious children How to talk to kids about race and books that can help

NYT: These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
USA Today: Looking for books about racism? Experts suggest these must-read titles for adults and kids
NYT: An Antiracist Reading List 


Reading lists: Books to be anti-racist

Vogue: Black Live Matter reading list 

An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism Anti-racist reading recommendations 

ABC News: Eight books on race and racism to learn how to be a white ally



Eyes on the prize 

We need to talk about injustice by Bryan Stevenson 

The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberle Crenshaw

PBS: The Origin of RAce in America

Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be Anti-Racist at UC Berkely 

Robin DiAngelo discusses White Fragility 

Race Matters – Dr. Cornell West at the University of Washington

TEDxRainier – Let’s get to the root of racial injustice by Megan Ming Francis

How to tell someone they sound racist by Jay Smooth

Race Forward – Moving the race conversation forward

TED – Color Blind or Color Brave by Melody Hobson

New York Times – Peanut Butter and Jelly Racism



Code Switch by NPR

About Race

The Diversity Gap

Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Momentum: A Race Forward


Books and Publications:

Adams, M. (Ed.). (2000). Readings for diversity and social justice. Psychology Press.

Feagin, J. (2013). Systemic racism: A theory of oppression. Routledge.

Linder, C., Harris, J. C., Allen, E. L., & Hubain, B. (2015). Building inclusive pedagogy: Recommendations from a national study of students of color in higher education and student affairs graduate programs. Equity & Excellence in Education, 48, 178-194.doi:10.1080/10665684.2014.959270

Johnson, A. G. (2001). Power, privilege, and difference. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Lau, M. Y., & Williams, C. D. (2010). Microaggressionsresearch: Methodological review and recommendations. In: D. W. Sue (Ed.). Microaggressions and marginality: Manifestation, dynamics and impact (pp. 313–336). New York, NY: Wiley

Nadal, K. L., Wong, Y., Griffin, K. E., Davidoff, K., & Sriken, J. (2014). The adverse impact of racial microaggressionson college students’ self-esteem. Journal of College Student Development, 55, 461-474. doi:10.1353/csd.2014.0051

Ross, L. (2016). Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses. Macmillan.

Sue, D. W. (2003). Overcoming our racism: The journey to liberation. John Wiley & Sons.


Black Lives Matter Syllabus 2016: 

Marc Lamont Hill, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2012)

Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (7 Stories Press, 2003)

African American Policy Forum, Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women (African American Policy Forum Report, 2015)

Movement for Black Lives, A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice (Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform, 2016)

Assorted essays by Cornel West, Alicia Garza, Audre Lorde, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Shaun King, and more available at


If you have any questions comments or additions to this list, please contact Leilani Lewis, lanil (at)

“I am breathing, but I’m not OK” by Ed Taylor

Originally published by the Seattle Times on June 7, 2020

By Ed Taylor

Are you OK? People have been asking me, and I’ve been asking others. I appreciate the question and those asking. Please keep asking. The truth of the matter is that things are not OK. As I write this, I’m staying home because of COVID-19, and a citywide curfew resulting from threats of violence throughout our city and county. I am also grieving the death of George Floyd. The simple answer is I am breathing, but I’m not OK. Nothing about the moment is OK.

The realization that things are not OK came earlier.

Six years ago, I was meeting a colleague at a downtown Seattle hotel when a grand jury verdict came. There would be no indictment of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death. I had been talking to my colleague in the lobby, and the news kept replaying the story. The sound was off, the images running. I saw Garner on the ground, uttering his final words. I watched his death over and over again during the meeting. It was December, the lobby adorned with Christmas decorations. After an hour, I could hardly stand up. I could not get the images out of my head. I knew that I would forever be haunted.

But the realization that things are not OK came much earlier still.

As a child, I tried to find answers to images I saw in school. Elizabeth Eckford, a Black girl walking through a gauntlet of anger and hatred as she entered school in Little Rock, Arkansas. Why would people be so angry at a 15-year-old going to school? I knew things weren’t OK when, as a child, I heard of a bomb that exploded in a church in Birmingham, Alabama, and killed four little girls who were getting dressed inside their church. I was haunted by the thought that church might not be safe. I watched images of John Lewis beaten by white police officers so badly that he suffered a broken skull — a day that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. Why are the police beating those people? Why can’t they cross that bridge?

No one I know is OK.

I talked to Maggie O’Sullivan, the head of Rainier Prep School in South Seattle. We discussed how teachers should or should not teach about what is going on in their neighborhoods, communities and world. Maggie is doing the holy work of educating kids, supporting teachers.

Last Saturday night, a night of peril, I heard the voice of my friend and colleague, Seattle Central College President Sheila Edwards Lange, on television. Sheila asked for calm and steady action. “I am tired, angry and grieving … but I know I have to stand up and deal with this trauma …”

I supported Carmen Best when she was selected as Seattle chief of police, and I am behind her now. When she interviewed for her post, she said she wanted to be chief because, “I am a Seattle person … I have a serious commitment to service.”

Over the weekend, I read messages from countless citizens who are at home but planning, plotting to make this city safe, decent and vibrant again.

I was recently asked what kind of city do I want. What do I want to do? I want the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute to be vibrant and truth telling. I want to bring friends to Wa Na Wari, a home, passed down through generations of a Black family in Seattle. It is both a physical symbol of those specific, lively, interconnected relationships and a space of belonging through art for Seattle’s Black community. It is a space representing Black ownership, possibility and connection. I want to ride the light rail to Othello, breathe deeply, and be reminded that we are colorful, faithful, devoted and resilient people. I want to go back to the Douglass Truth library, sit on the floor and read again James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time.”

I have seen fires burn in my community before. I am interested in the kind of flame that will inspire people to vote, to reform systems, save lives and to serve, protect and build. There are endless proactive actions to take and countless day-to-day folks who will be in it for the long haul before we will be OK. Our approach needs to be three dimensional: recognizing the past, addressing current problems and imagining the future we want. Truth. Reconciliation. Repair.

Ed Taylor is vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and professor of education in the College of Education at the University of Washington.

Lifting the veil: understanding the clarity this moment offers

Published May 30
Ana Mari Cauce

I’m terrified to go outside.
I don’t know what people see when they look at me.

Do they see a strong, resilient, educated woman?
Do they see someone who is their ancestors’ wildest dreams?
Do they see a woman who has friends and family they love?

I’m terrified to go outside.
I don’t know what people see when they look at me.

Do you only see my skin color?
Do you only see the stereotypes others created for me?
Do you only see your fear?

I’m terrified to go outside.
I don’t know what people see when they look at me.

My brothers and sisters are villainized for asking questions.
My brothers and sisters are detained for walking on a public street.
My brothers and sisters are killed for existing.

I’m terrified to go outside.
I don’t know what people see when they look at me.

I wonder when I will be harassed for existing.
I wonder when the police will be called to my door.
I wonder when I will be the one mourned.

I’m terrified to go outside.

– Laura Cañate, MBA ’18

The last few weeks and months have been a time of jarring contrasts. Community members donating masks sewn by hand to protect essential workers, while mask-free revelers flout distancing mandates at pools and beaches. Groups of armed white demonstrators march against stay-at-home orders at state capitols with impunity, while for Black Americans the simple act of walking down the street, jogging or birdwatching can be fraught with danger, and even end in death. Too many are left to wonder, as does UW MBA alumna Laura Cañate, ‘18, “when I will be the one mourned.”

Many of us have seen those compelling “before and after” pandemic pictures of cityscapes around the world. The before pictures show buildings shrouded by pollution while the after pictures reveal majestic mountains or vast stretches of squalid, overcrowded houses in the background. It’s like a veil has been lifted allowing us to see more clearly what was there all along.

Periods of upheaval and crisis both test and reveal our character, as individuals, communities and nations. Over the last few weeks and months, I’ve written about the courage and creativity of so many in our community. I’ve never been prouder of our faculty, students and staff and I am confident that we can and will continue to learn and grow together, building toward a healthier future for all.

But first, we must seize the clarity this moment offers. Painful though it may be, we must face up to the inequities this pandemic has laid bare, and the ugliness that it has revealed. We ARE all in this together, I wear a mask not to protect me, but to protect you. And it is also unquestionably true, that we are not all on equal footing. There are class and race differences not only in who can work from home, and who must venture out, but in who has kept their job and who hasn’t. While low-income and communities of color are more apt to work at jobs that require them to be there in person, these same jobs are less likely to come with health care or sick leave. These communities are more apt to be in neighborhoods characterized by overcrowding and with less access to healthy food choices and recreational activities, conditions that no doubt play a role in the fact that people of color are more apt to suffer complications and even death from COVID-19.

These structural inequities, and the institutional racism that they reflect, create and amplify the conditions that led to the appalling ugliness that we’ve seen in the last few days and weeks — laid bare once again by ubiquity of cellphone cameras. The post-pandemic goal should not be to go back to the way it was. We must do better. As we enter into a period where a new vigilance around hygiene and closeness will become habitual, and where we measure the consequences of our individual actions not just by their effect on our own health, but on how they might affect our family and friends, let’s create a “new normal” where attention to issues of equity becomes habitual as well. In this community, in our community, we can and we will continue our work to address issues of equity, racism and bias. The veil has been lifted. We cannot give up – or go back.

Laura, I see you, I hear you. I know the smart, strong, sensitive woman that you are. I know your pain. My brother has been murdered next to yours, leaving a hole in my heart and life that can never be filled. And to you and all Black students, faculty and staff, while I can only imagine what it’s like to walk in your shoes because my light skin protects me from your terror, I can and will walk with you.

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — say their names, see their faces, hear their cries. Weep, then act

Antiracism work is all of our work

Dear members of the UW community,

George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Three more Black lives snuffed out and lost to our world either at the hands of police or, in the case of Arbery, white racists being protected by local law enforcement. While we shouldn’t need it, these deaths serve as yet another reminder of the pervasiveness of racism and our failure to adequately address it.

As a UW community – all three campuses – please remember that at this time, many of our students, staff, and faculty are hurting. Many of us were already struggling to deal with the shift to emergency remote learning, financial hardships, family health issues and emotional strain related to the pandemic.

Now, on top of all of that, we are also faced with the collective trauma from the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Our hearts break for their families and our communities.

For members of the Black community, we see you, and we acknowledge the deep pain, anguish, and extra trauma you are carrying right now due to this senseless loss of life. In the midst of these challenging times, when the pressures stemming from our history of racial violence and ensuing trauma feel heavy and unyielding, please know that we are here to uplift you, and we are in community with you.

We have no answers in this message. Just a shared understanding that we stand with you in the pain of the moment as we ourselves search for answers and justice. In 2015, President Cauce called on our community to “combat the racism and inequities, both individual and institutional, that persist here and throughout our society” when she established the UW’s Race and Equity Initiative. Her commitment – and ours – to the continuation of that work is unwavering. We are united and unequivocal that antiracism must be at the core of all we do if we are to dismantle the destructive and oppressive effects of white privilege and systemic racism, which is the cornerstone of all U.S. social institutions, including our criminal justice system. This work is all of our work.

We realize there are cumulative effects to these traumas. If you need help here are some resources.

UW Bothell

Counseling Center

Student Diversity Center

Seattle campus

Counseling Center

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

UW Tacoma

Counseling and Psychological Services

Center for Equity and Inclusion


George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. We say their names to honor their lives and make them matter.


Rickey Hall

Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity

University Diversity Officer

UW Seattle


James McShay

Assistant Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion

UW Tacoma


Wayne Au

Acting Dean of Diversity & Equity

UW Bothell



New Welcome Video for UW Staff Orientation

We are excited to share that the Race and Equity Initiative, in partnership with the Professional & Organizational Development (POD) and the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D), has produced a video for new staff orientations and welcome programs in order to introduce values of equity and diversity at the UW.

Understanding, diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values of the University of Washington helps instill a sense of belonging and safety for all our colleagues. As our campuses continue to embrace more diversity among our students, faculty and staff, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone who joins UW as an employee know they belong and work to live out our expressed values.

This video features leaders and staff cross multiple departments, schools and colleges, from all three campuses. They offer varied perspectives and discuss how the values of equity and belonging shape the University of Washington’s culture. This video also features resources and points of interest on campus that provide opportunities for staff to engage and learn more.

Through the lens of our leaders and staff members, and in the spirit of equity and inclusion, we hope this video will welcome and inspire new employees to build their community while they build their career at UW.