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A place for everyone

In the spring of 2015, President Ana Mari Cauce launched the university’s new Race and Equity Initiative. President Cauce presented the UW community with a challenge: that all of us—students, faculty, staff and university leadership—take personal responsibility for addressing our own biases and improving our university culture.

In the College of Built Environments we are committed to tackling this challenge. In the Pacific Northwest, a region distinct in our range of people, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, and values, we are raising our responsibility and commitment to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and equity in all areas of our recruitment, teaching, and hiring.

These efforts include:

  • Working with the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to expand the breadth of our outreach for student applications
  • Offering new general introductory courses in built environments, open to all UW undergraduate students
  • Collaborating with community colleges on accessibility and ease for transfer students
  • Working with high school counselors to increase knowledge of our programs
  • Fostering conversations that address problems and result in the implementation of solutions

The CBE perspective
The University Of Washington College of Built Environments is one of the few places in the country where our unique collection of disciplines—architecture, construction management, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, and real estate—come together under one roof.

We all interact with the built environments through our homes, schools, places of work and worship, where we receive healthcare, and participate in public spaces. At CBE, we see the need for healthy inclusive built environments to be a human right. Our study and practice aim to achieve the same goals in every urban metropolis and rural village – for the places we design and construct to thrive, be safe, be inclusive, be sustainable, and reflective of culture.
Beyond our efforts to build a more inclusive College we also seek to expand the diversity of our perspectives, experiences, knowledge, goals, and ideas. In our classrooms and work spaces we encourage open conversations and the exchange of information.

Looking at the practice of our professions we also know that besides our theory and practice, many factors impact the way built environments are used including communication technologies, transportation, access to education, and social services. In our teaching, we consider these variables, and are committed to exposing our students to our society’s diverse perspectives and building a student body that reflects everyone’s interests.

In addition to the College’s efforts, many of our departments have also established programs focused on increasing diversity within their units.

Department of Architecture Diversity Plan

Department of Landscape Architecture Diversity Mission Statement

Department of Urban Design and Planning Diversity Committee

Additional UW Diversity Resources

  • The Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) works to increase diversity on campus and enrich the colligate experience of all UW students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Graduate School supports students and departments through programming, advocacy, and fostering conversation and dialogue. Within the Graduate School is the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), which works to expand graduate education to everyone, with events and outreach geared toward underrepresented minority graduate students and students of color.
  • The Intellectual House is a longhouse-style facility on the UW Seattle campus. It provides a multi-service learning and gathering space for Native American students, faculty and staff, as well as others from various cultures and communities to come together in a welcoming environment to share knowledge.
  • The University of Washington Q Center is a primarily student-run resource center dedicated to serving students, faculty, staff and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions.
  • The University of Washington Veterans Education Benefits office serves military veterans and their dependents during their time as students at the UW.
  • The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) unit is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for all students with disabilities on the Seattle campus.
  •  Leadership Without Boarders is a resource center for undocumented students offering leadership development, peer support, textbook lending, career advising, and financial training.