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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

two students outdoors

Diversity, equity & inclusion are fundamental to our culture and to our mission as a public educational institution.

What are we doing?

Current and completed DEI activities.

DEI events

DEI drop-in sessions and town halls.


A variety of DEI resources and support.


We are working collectively to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where people of all backgrounds, who bring a range of perspectives and life experiences, are welcomed, valued, heard and supported. We celebrate and value differences among our students, faculty and staff; this includes diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, socioeconomic background, academic experience and veteran status.

The UW CEE department will not tolerate discrimination, assault or hate in our community. We pledge not to be bystanders. When we see hate, we will mobilize. As a community, it is essential that we use our actions and our voices to interrupt and eliminate injustice.

We acknowledge that systemic racism exists in our society and our institutions, including academic institutions. We believe that Black lives matter. We are committed to anti-racism: to acknowledge, understand and directly confront the historical inequities in our field and the structures and barriers that have led to those inequities.

We value and acknowledge the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations. We are committed to a departmental culture that is supportive and welcoming for all people, including American Indian/Alaska Native students, staff and faculty.

Relevance to civil and environmental engineering

Diverse teams are crucial for success in engineering projects and organizations. Diversity brings new ideas and life experiences to the field; diverse teams are more likely to design inclusive solutions for all of society. Encouraging and supporting a diverse engineering community is important for building a vibrant UW CEE and society at large.

CEE, like many engineering fields, has too often focused only on equations and the application of chemistry, math and physics to solve narrowly defined engineering problems, without acknowledging that engineering can reflect and impose inequality. Civil engineering infrastructure has been used to perpetuate and enforce racial segregation. Environmental engineering has too often ignored environmental racism, with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities bearing the brunt of pollution. We are committed to doing better, in the education and research that our department delivers.

How will we be held accountable?

We are committed to holding ourselves accountable and to making real and sustained progress toward our goals. We commit to regular (bi-annual) updates of DEI activities within our department via this web site and, as appropriate, other outlets. Main completed tasks can be found on the What are we doing? page.

We hope you will hold us accountable, too, and will let us know when we fall short. You may contact us by email (Alex Horner-Devine at or by using the anonymous feedback form below.

Feedback and reporting

Share your feedback

Do you see opportunities for improvement, is there a project you think we should add to our list, or would you like to get involved in making positive change? The DEI Committee and our department chair welcome your input. 

Report an incident

The College of Engineering is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of every individual in our community. If you encounter or suspect incidents of bias, discrimination, or harassment, we encourage you to let us know by filing an incident report.

DEI drop-in sessions

The DEI chair hosts regular drop-in times open to the CEE community.

Learn more