November 25, 2019

An Update: Equity and Inclusion at Evans and in the Field

As public administrators, policy scholars, and public service leaders, we must challenge the role that our field has played in the persistence of systemic racism in our society. These injustices are more than a set of attitudes or individual opinions. They are the result of oppressive policies, practices, institutions, and dominant cultural habits that underpin every aspect of our society.   

To truly dedicate ourselves to a more just and equitable future, we must confront these truths and be bold and optimistic in our belief that public administration can have a role in righting these wrongs. As we consider our future, we will continue to evaluate all the ways that we can make the Evans School a more equitable and inclusive place to learn, teach, and grow.  

Within the Evans School, faculty, students, and staff are working hard to ensure that our community, our curriculum, and our field reflects and welcomes the diverse backgrounds, opinions, experiences, and perspectives represented in the world in which we live. Over this next academic year, I will continue working with our Committee for Equity & Inclusion, the Curriculum Advocacy Team, as well as our other school committees. As a community we will focus on issues such as improving recruitment, admissions, retention and support of diverse faculty, staff and students, fostering inclusive classroom strategies, and integrating diversity and inclusion content in syllabi, in order to create a climate and culture where each person can fully participate. 

In addition to our internal efforts to improve equity and inclusion, there are two external initiatives that I am pleased to share that the Evans School is participating in: The University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs Education and the Public Affairs Diversity Alliance. 

This fall, I proudly joined academic leaders from around the world on the University Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs Education. More than 220 representatives from over 85 institutions and 20 countries have signed a global call to action with the specific aim of inciting tangible, measurable and impactful change to diversity and inclusion in graduate education in international affairs.  

Signing the global call to action indicates a program’s commitment to diversity in the composition of faculty and students, representation of a wide range of experiences, beliefs, and backgrounds in curricula, and ensuring inclusion in campus culture. We are united in the belief that it is critical that our institutions and educators are committed to addressing systemic racism and the root causes of inequality in the field of public affairs.  We collaborate and share best practices to make progress together. 

In addition, last January the Evans School became one of six founding members of the Public Affairs Diversity Alliance, an effort to unite the top public affairs and policy schools across the country that share a commitment to encouraging, training, mentoring, and promoting diverse scholars of public affairs and policy. The Alliance, the first of its kind in public affairs, seeks to encourage and sustain a pipeline of candidates for faculty positions in criminal justice, policy, and public administration. 

As part of our commitment to the Public Affairs Diversity Alliance, the Evans School will share with other member institutions our school-wide equity and inclusion goals, identify Diversity Alliance Fellows, and identify internal and external mentors for Fellows.   

Today, I am pleased to invite our PhD students and our Post-Doctoral Fellows to apply to be Evans School Alliance Fellows. I encourage all PhD students to apply via the brief PhD application here and our Post-Docs to apply via the Post-Doc application here.  

The above are important and identifiable efforts. But it must be stated that all of us, with whatever privilege and power we hold, have an obligation to increase equity and inclusion every day. At UW, and outside of it, there are many ways to work toward change, for example in how we conduct meetings and ensure that all voices are heard, in our approach to writing recommendations and award nominations, when choosing among proposals for research projects and foci for our time and research effort, while fielding and extending invitations to meetings and events, and through sharing our personal contacts and networks. These are all ways in which individual privilege can be leveraged into opportunity for others, and into progress toward greater equity and inclusion. 

I look forward to progress ahead, and I will keep you updated with future goals and outcomes from the University Leadership Council and the Public Affairs Diversity Alliance, as well as at the Evans School. 

This is continuing work, and it is important work.  Thank you all for being a part of it.