Diversity Committee


The Department of Urban Design and Planning’s Diversity Committee consists of faculty, students, and staff who are committed to serving the needs of our students. The Diversity Committee works to create a stronger and more inclusive community by recognizing and serving our Department’s many types of diversity including (but not limited to):  race, ethnicity, age, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, educational background, veteran status, and (dis)ability.


The Diversity Committee identifies potential areas of improvement within the Department of Urban Design and Planning and the College of Built Environments and continually seeks ways to address those areas in a positive way.

The Diversity Committee is currently drafting a Diversity Plan for the Department. The committee also facilitates connections across programs and cultures to foster community. One example is the Buzz Buddy program, which pairs international and U.S. students within the Department for cross-cultural conversation, sharing of knowledge, and friendship. In another example, the committee organizes a potluck series, inviting all students and faculty to share food and get to know each other in a relaxed context.

The Diversity Committee worked with the College of Built Environments to establish two all-gender restrooms in the College’s main building (Gould Hall). Also, the faculty on the Diversity Committee offer a quarterly Race and Social Justice Seminar.


The Diversity Committee typically meets in Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters in Gould Court.

The last meeting of Spring quarter is Tuesday, May 29 at 11:30am in Gould Court. The dates for Autumn 2018 have not yet been determined.

Students, staff, or faculty who are not on the Diversity Committee are welcome to attend the meetings on a drop-in basis.

2017-18 Committee Members

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, the following people participated in the Diversity Committee. There was representation from students in the CEP undergraduate major, MUP program (including an alumnus), and PhD program; UDP Professionals Council, faculty and staff.

Christine Bae (faculty), Coo Barimani (MUP), Maisha Barnett (CEP), Branden Born (faculty), Hayden Campbell (MUP), Aidan Carroll (CEP), Manish Chalana (faculty),Clara Cheeves (MUP), Eric Clute (MUP), Sandy Howard (UDP Professionals Council), Marlo Kapsa (MUP), Cheryl Klotz (MUP alum), Louie Leiva (MUP), Zachary Mathurin (MUP), Polly Membrino (MUP), Lan Nguyen (PhD), Ishmael Nunez (MUP), Kizz Prusia (MUP), Diana Siembor (staff), Mary Xiao (MUP)

We are seeking new members for the 2018-2019 year! CEP, MUP, and PhD students are welcome to join. The time commitment is approximately 6 hours a month, including attending the meetings and working on projects. Committee members can attend meetings on a fluid basis (their schedules permitting). Furthermore, students, staff, faculty, and UDP Professionals Council members are welcome to drop in on meetings; you need not be a “member” to attend a meeting!

There is a flat hierarchy in the group, meaning that all members share responsibility to create the agenda, facilitate the group meetings, and participate on projects. Projects are usually self-selected based on committee members’ interests.

UW Resources

  • UW President Ana Mari Cauce launched a Race and Equity Initiative in Spring 2015 with a challenge: that all of us — students, faculty, staff and university leadership — take personal responsibility for addressing our own biases and improving our university culture.
  • The Graduate School supports diversity and inclusiveness at the University of Washington in multiple and innovative ways: from support of students and departments to programming to advocacy to fostering conversation and dialogue.
  • The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) is at the heart of the Graduate School’s commitment to expanding graduate education to everyone, with events and programming are geared toward underrepresented minority graduate students and students of color.
  • The Intellectual House is a longhouse-style facility on the UW Seattle campus. It provides a multi-service learning and gathering space for Native American students, faculty and staff, as well as others from various cultures and communities to come together in a welcoming environment to share knowledge.
  • The University of Washington Q Center is a primarily student-run resource center dedicated to serving students, faculty, staff and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions.
  • The University of Washington Veterans Education Benefits office serves military veterans and their dependents during their time as students at the UW.
  • The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) unit is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for all students with disabilities on the Seattle campus.

To further explore diversity at the University of Washington, please see: http://www.washington.edu/diversity/ .

Contact Us

If you have questions, suggestions or concerns, you may email any of us individually, or the committee as a whole at: udp4all@uw.edu. These emails will be received by Branden Born and Diana Siembor.

If you would like to send an anonymous email to the committee or it’s departmental faculty/staff individual members please do so via this link.