Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

Dr. Hunt and students at a Juneteenth celebration

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion promotes institutional responsiveness to the needs of students of color and students of diverse cultural backgrounds.

  • We provide leadership opportunities for the development and implementation services, programs, projects, and curriculum that promote diversity, equity, and social justice. 
     
  • We collaborate with other college departments and divisions on access, retention, student centered programs and events, present professional development activities on wellness, diversity, equity and inclusion and disseminates information on diversity resources for students, faculty, and staff. 
     
  • We collaborate with and uplift connections with off-campus partners in the surrounding Seattle and Washington state community 

Goals 

The goal of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Seattle Central is to create a Beloved Community by centering the people most impacted by systemic inequities. We do this by:

  • building and maintaining positive relationships with our campus and community partners for the support and success of the students we serve
     
  • intentionally listening to students and their needs by being responsive to their requests and feedback
     
  • continuously encouraging faculty, staff, and students to grow the collective effort to address bias, bigotry, and discrimination in all forms at Seattle Central College

What do we mean by EDI?

  • Beloved Community - “Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth…. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood…. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail...” (Sullivan P. (2021) The Beloved Community. In: Democracy, Social Justice, and the American Community College. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-75560-7_19)
     
  • Equity - "Historically, equity refers to the process of creating equivalent outcomes for members of historically underrepresented and oppressed individuals and groups. Equity is about ending systematic discrimination against people based on their identity or background.” (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008)
     
    • Seattle Colleges leads with racial equity because we acknowledge the history and impact that intergenerational and institutional barriers have had on students of color, who make up 44% of our student body (or nearly 60% of students who identify by race on their applications), while our faculty and staff do not yet reflect these same demographics.
       
  • Diversity - As an open access institution, Seattle Colleges holds diversity as an ongoing discovery of the intersections of identities and "diversity refers to all of the ways in which people differ, including primary characteristics, such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, mental and physical abilities, and sexual orientation, and secondary characteristics, such as education, income, religion, work experience, language skills, geographic location, and family status. Put simply, diversity refers to all of the characteristics that make individuals different from each other and in its most basic form refers to heterogeneity." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008)
     
  • Inclusion - This work matters because students and employees thrive where they feel they belong, especially in a climate of political divisiveness. "Inclusion exists when traditionally marginalized individuals and groups feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to participate in majority culture as full and valued members of the community, shaping and redefining that culture in different ways." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008) It is important to note that inclusion, by itself, is not enough. The pursuit of inclusion without discernment of the impact of providing commensurate access to majoritarian actions and practices can actually undermine the original purpose of empowering minoritized communities. 

Have any questions? Contact our lovely staff!

Mikaila Harris, Mikaila.Harris@seattlecolleges.edu, BE 1112 C
Dr. Valerie Hunt, Valerie.Hunt@seattlecolleges.edu, BE 1112 B 
 

Today we recognize and honor the original occupants and stewards of the land where we now gather virtually. Many of us are joining this meeting from lands that are the traditional home of the Coast Salish people, the traditional home of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.

Today, we honor the survival, the adaptations, the forced assimilation, and the resilience and creativity of Native peoples – past, present, and future. We encourage participants to consider their responsibilities to the people and land, both here and elsewhere, and to stand in solidarity with Native, Indigenous, and First Nations People, and their sovereignty, cultural heritage, and lives.

We recognize that enslaved and indentured peoples were forced into unpaid and underpaid labor in the construction of this country, state and city.

To the people who contributed this immeasurable work and their descendants, we acknowledge our/their indelible mark on the space in which we gather today.

It is our collective responsibility to critically interrogate these histories, to repair harm, and to honor, protect, and sustain this land.
 

Mikaila Harris (she/her) hails from Michigan, has spent some time in Colorado, and is now enjoying the gorgeously moody Pacific North West! Having worked in Higher Education for over 10 years, she is excited to bring her passion for supporting and advocating for others to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She has served in various roles, such as student development, Gender-based violence advocacy, and residence life all with the goal of making spaces more inclusive and supportive of systemically underrepresented groups. These values truly blossomed while attaining her BA at Central Michigan University and continued when getting her MA at the University of Denver. When Mikaila's not busy working, she likes to spend her downtime finding the perfect playlist and snack combo. So, please share what you're listening to and snacking on!