The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is committed to creating a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive community for all. On this page, you’ll find resources designed to support development of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community, and to help those who are dealing with the effects of systemic inequities.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions about and for this page, please contact SEFS at sefscomm@uw.edu or the SEFS Diversity Equity and Inclusivity  Committee (DEIC) chairs, Sarah Converse, sconver@uw.edu and Brian Harvey, bjharvey@uw.edu.

Recent Messages from UW and SEFS Leadership

Mental Health Resources

The University, as well as local entities, have a number of wellness resources to ensure that all members of our community have places to turn for support. Here are some of them:

Words of Black Americans on the Intersection of Race and Nature

Black-Owned Businesses and Anti-Racist Readings

Supporting Black-owned businesses can help to combat economic inequities. If you are looking for a way to directly support businesses in Seattle, here is a list of restaurants that are open for take-out during COVID-19. If you are not currently living in Seattle, we encourage you to find and support Black-owned businesses in your community.

In addition, there are so many ways to learn more about racial injustice, whether through books, podcasts, essays, op-eds, and more. It can feel overwhelming to know where to start. Here is an anti-racist reading list created by Ibram X. Kendi (author of How to be an Anti-racist). Here is a list of some minority owned bookstores which specialize in anti-racist literature: Blackstone Books, Uncle Bobbies, The Key, The Semicolon, and Ashay by the Bay

Professional Organizations Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

Here is a list of professional organizations striving to promote DEI in STEM/Natural Resource Management whom you may want to support and/or collaborate with in the coming weeks/months/years.

Center for Diversity & the Environment: The Center for Diversity & the Environment harnesses the power of racial and ethnic diversity to transform the U.S. environmental movement by developing leaders, catalyzing change within institutions & building alliances.

EPOC- Environmental Professionals of Color Seattle: The purpose of this network is to provide a safe space for connecting people of color across the U.S. to catalyze change by surviving, thriving, innovating, and leading in environmentalism.

Front and Centered: Front and Centered is a statewide coalition of more than 60 organizations and groups rooted in communities of color and people with lower incomes.

Got Green: Got Green organizes for environmental, racial, and economic justice as a South Seattle-based grassroots organization led by people of color and low income people

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars: The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington is a multi-summer, undergraduate experiential learning experience that explores conservation across food, water, climate, and ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle MESA (Hosted by UW College of the Environment): Seattle MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) provides middle and high school students — as well as their teachers and parents — innovative, hands-on opportunities in mathematics, basic and applied science, and engineering in both formal and informal settings.

The Ecological Society of America diversity community includes a Black Ecologists group, an Environmental Justice section, an Inclusive Ecology section, and a Traditional Ecological Knowledge section.

The Wildlife Society includes an Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group.

NACME – National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering: Through partnerships with like-minded entities, NACME serves as a catalyst to increase the proportion of African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in STEM careers.

AIChE MAC – American Institute of Chemical Engineers Giving; Minority Affairs Committee: The Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) promotes activities that will encourage the education and training of minorities in engineering and related disciplines, through the development and enhancement of student scholarship and mentoring programs.

Engineers Without Borders provides essential infrastructure to the world’s most vulnerable people. Both a Seattle professional chapter and a UW student chapter are established.

The Community Engineering Corps. focuses on providing engineering services to underserved communities in the U.S. Both a Seattle professional chapter and a UW student chapter are established.

Questioning the Answer

As one UW slogan says, “Question the Answer.” We all need to consider doing this more, especially around our institutional and social structures that oppress, marginalize–and worst of all, murder–people of color.

Here is a great article by the Harvard Business Review about how we all can use our everyday privilege to support others. That being said, if you are white, it can be hard to understand what the impact of this privilege is, and it is well said: “White privilege does not mean your life has not been hard; it just means that race is not one of the things making it harder” (Equity House, Topeka, KS). Another great place to start is by reading this piece by Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. I encourage you to keep going by exploring the Antiracist Reading List Ibram X. Kendi posted on The New York Times a year ago (and see also Kendi’s article The American Nightmare), you will find useful readings here on decolonizing conservation.

Think you know what you think about others and you are not biased? Test your implicit bias. This is also good to do before you evaluate others, making the implicit explicit helps to combat bias–we all have them, and battling them takes effort.

Want to take a small, easy action? You can sign a currently circulating UW petition, which states: We have seen that the University of Minnesota has cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, so we know it is possible for UW to divest from SPD and disarm UWPD. You can see the petition, signed by over 4,000 people & dozens of student organizations at: https://bit.ly/DecrimUW

Ask yourself about what you can do next? How will you commit to action and change? If you are an educator, you will want to integrate your new perspectives into your classroom, and here is a great opportunity to learn how to integrate DEI into teaching. Keep questioning the answer, the way things are, holding leadership accountable to make changes, and making changes that make your everyday actions more equitable and inclusive.

Additional Resources

College of the Environment Diversity Resources for Faculty and Staff
Provides a list of resources including funding opportunities, hiring guidelines, and links to other resources.

UW Diversity Page
Provides a general UW diversity portal to the programs and efforts on and off campus, as well as resources for students, faculty and staff.

UW Tribal Relations
This UW Diversity web page centralizes Native American resources on the Seattle campus. There are pages for the Intellectual House and Tribal Leadership Summit. The Summit includes a Memorandum of Understanding between the Intertribal Timber Council and SEFS, which helps to provide scholarship support for qualified Tribal students.

ADVANCE
The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program strives to increase the participation of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with funding opportunities for individuals and organizations to help pursue these goals.

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
The ECC has a wealth of resources and opportunities available to students including student advising, organizational development, personal growth and referrals to different departments and programs.

UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity
The mission of the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity is to ensure the access and academic success of diverse populations through the advancement of knowledge, academic excellence, diversity and the promotion of values, principles and a climate that enriches the campus experience for all.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
MANRRS provides networks to support professional development of minorities.

Intertribal Timber Council
Established in 1976, the ITC is a nonprofit nation-wide consortium of Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations and individuals dedicated to improving the management of natural resources of importance to Native American communities. Also provides student scholarships.

ESA SEEDS
SEEDS is an education program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to not only participate in ecology, but to lead.

Seattle Milk Fund
Seattle Milk Fund empowers parents toward higher education opportunities by funding child care grants and providing family support.

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