Diversity Committee


The Department of Urban Design and Planning’s Diversity Committee consists of faculty, students, staff and Professionals Council members who are committed to acknowledging and serving the needs of our students. The Diversity Committee works to create a stronger and more inclusive community by focusing on initiatives and events that recognize, engage, and benefit students across 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.

UDP Diversity Plan

The UDP Diversity Plan was written and developed by the UDP Diversity Committee, and is a living document intended to guide changes and create an opening to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the fabric of our department.

UDP Diversity Plan One Page Summary

UDP Diversity Plan

What We Do

UDP Diversity Committee Activities

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 wrote and developed the UDP Diversity Plan, and in the coming academic year will develop an implementation plan for it. Members also conducted an Authorship Survey to assess the diversity of voices featured in the classroom by evaluating authors of readings and guest speakers in core classes. Members have organized a speaker series, the goal of which was to highlight voices of minority or non-traditional planners working in the field of urban design and planning. The Diversity Committee also advocates for other change, such as equity trainings for students/staff/faculty, and worked with the College of Built Environments to establish two all-gender restrooms in the College’s main building (Gould Hall).

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 typically meets in Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters in Gould Court. The meetings are one hour long and occur every two weeks. The meeting dates for spring 2019 have not been set.

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

Committee Members

The 2018-2019 members are as follows, representing students in the CEP undergraduate major, MUP program (including alumnus), and PhD program; UDP Professionals Council, faculty and staff.

CEP: Aidan Carroll, Christophe Strouse, Helen Ganahl, Manny Salinas, Aury Banos

MUP: Ted Cheung, Andrew Fenner, Rawan Hasan, Dorothy Mulkern, Charlie Simpson, Clara Cheeves, Louie Leiva, Michelle Abunaja, Hayden Campbell

MUP Alum: Cheryl Klotz

PhD: Lan Nguyen

Professionals Council: Sandy Howard

Faculty: Branden Born, Manish Chalana

Staff: Wendy Freitag, Diana Siembor, Jenelle Clark


New members are always welcome! 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.


Diversity at the University of Washington

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.