Oct 112020
 October 11, 2020

We are the Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Committee subgroup of the Anti-Discrimination Working Group. We are composed of UAW 4121 members who are actively engaged in DEI Committees in our respective departments across campus. Together, we are working to interface with DEI committees that are currently in existence across departments and programs at the University of Washington to gather information about successes and failures that each committee has experienced over their tenure in order to: 

  1. Create an anti-racism toolkit that brings together best practices and processes to achieve them, and 
  2. Develop a DEI community which may stand together in solidarity on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within each department and across campus.

Our overall goal is to compile a framework for how DEI committees can engage with diversity, equity, and inclusion work, including what steps can go into a well-formed action plan, best practices for reporting and transparency, approaches to engage a diverse cohort of students, faculty, and staff in decision making, and effective and measurable metrics to evaluate progress and outcomes of specific actions. Furthermore, the underlying emphasis with this work is to center and uplift the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC), and to actively fight racism/discrimination in academia and to hold the university accountable to do the same.

Equity Toolkit: Our intention with this toolkit is to bring together information from the varied DEI groups and additional research to provide a set of practices which each department can actively engage in to either bolster their DEI efforts or start a new DEI committee if one is not in existence already. We would like to stress, however, that it is not our intention to simply have the content of this toolkit pasted onto your department’s website, but rather for it to serve as a living guideline for how to consistently, and meaningfully engage with diversity, equity, and inclusion work at both the committee and department level. Currently, we are compiling community knowledge in the form of DEI committee profiles by examining department web pages across the university and preparing to conduct a survey to inform, structure, and initiate conversations with DEI committees across campus in the coming months.

DEI Network: Given that solidarity is one of the core tenets of any DEI work, our secondary goal is to increase community between DEI committees and actors across campus who can not only stand in solidarity with one another’s unique department-specific initiatives but also actively collaborate on projects which expand beyond a singular department. Ultimately, we recognize that changes need to be made across each level of the University (from individual departments up to the University administration), and it is our hope that a DEI Network at the department level can encourage community engagement and collective grassroots change. Lastly, we recognize that DEI committees needs vary across different departments, and that they often have a limited degree of enforcement capability. Therefore, we aim to provide a resource that serves to facilitate conversation, support, and examples of successful DEI work, and that fosters a community of DEI committees who organize together to overcome some of these limitations to enact larger, more comprehensive changes across the campus.

During Fall 2020, we meet every other week on Fridays from 4-5pm. For more info and to get involved, please fill out this contact form!