With the 2022-23 academic year coming to a close, this Spring newsletter highlights a bevy of department-wide Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) events that have taken place during this past quarter, as well as updates on activities taken on by the UW//LA JEDI Committee and the CBE Diversity Council. Opportunities to actively engage with JEDI initiatives include feedback on the Diversity Strategic Plan and applying to the Youths in the Built Environment lead coordinator position (due Monday, 6/5) or the Burke Meadow student research assistant position, as well as promoting our Landscape Architecture Fund for Equity Diversity Inclusion.
UWLA JEDI Committee Updates
Department Grievance Protocol Update
The UW//LA JEDI Committee’s primary focus this quarter has been to give a thorough review and revision of the Department Grievance Protocol. From assessing the specific language used, to clarifying official roles and responsibilities, our goal has been to increase accessibility to the resources within this document. With these edits in place, there are plans to share the document at the college level for possible future adoption. Read the newly revised document here which can also be found on the Student Resources + Info page of our website under “Department Grievance Reporting Protocol” tab.
GGN Firm Tour Recap
Our JEDI council hosted a firm tour with 15 students on March 29th, 2023, at GGN’s office. The firm tour started with a coffee time in the scenic meeting room, followed by a tour around the office and a presentation of GGN’s JEDI-oriented projects, including Burke Museum Meadow, India Basin Shoreline Park, and UW Life Sciences Building. The presentation inspired students to better engage with diverse communities and design meaningful and inclusive places in their academic and professional lives. This is the first firm tour hosted by the JEDI committee to provide students with an opportunity to learn about JEDI values in landscape projects in further depth than the Out in Front exhibit (featured in the next section). If you’d like the JEDI committee to host another firm tour in the coming quarters, feel free to send an email to Jennie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UWLA Professional Advisory Council (PAC) Event Highlights
Out in Front: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Exhibit
OUT in FRONT is a biannual showcase for local firms to share innovative and exciting design work with students and the larger professional design community. This year’s event encouraged professionals and students to share work that highlights JEDI principles, practices, or inquiries. The goal this year was to celebrate imperfection, ask difficult questions, encourage meaningful dialogue, and co-create more just and equitable design practices. Possible board topics included (but were not limited to) accessibility justice in design, design research, community engagement, built design work, speculative design work, visualization practices, non-profit work, post-occupancy studies, pro-bono work, placekeeping practices, and land stewardship among others.
Meredith Grupe, a second year MLA I student, said about the event, “I value projects that uplift non-dominant communities and strive to create a more equitable future. As a landscape architecture student, I wonder often whether I’ll be able to work on projects with that focus in my professional career. It was great to see a myriad of projects that highlight JEDI principles, and great to connect with alumni and professionals who share the same values.” She added that, “It was especially awesome to see projects with a focus on community engagement and equitable design practices.” Our community of students, staff, faculty, and professionals is actively asking how we practice landscape architecture through a JEDI lens and attendees were encouraged to engage in conversation about the submissions. Eve Wang, a BLA student, noted that the event was “really inspirational” because of the ability to see and learn about “so many JEDI focused projects [coming] to reality.”
Kofi Boone: Recognition, Reconciliation, Reparation
Reflection excerpt from Shantol Morgan, BLA ‘24
[Kofi Boone’s] lecture [on May 9, 2023] was centered around the ideas of recognition, reconciliation and reparations in landscapes. Boone defines recognition as the ability to recognize and respect the status and rights of a person. Reconciliation is the acknowledgment of harm done as well as taking responsibility and accountability to accelerate the healing process. For Boone, reparation isn’t always monetary acquisitions but restoring and sustaining the capability to live a fulfilling life. He outlines examples of such reparations in history, which I found to be worth researching; the Pigford cases with Black farmers; Homestead Act, as well as reparations for eugenics in North Carolina.
He makes a point that in the wake of the “twin crisis,” (Covid19 and hyper awareness of racial equity driven by inequities like police brutality) not enough is being done.
Landscape architecture has [a place] in the conversation on racial equity. Despite the past traumas of black and brown people, our placement is densely concentrated in areas or locales that reflect the same areas during slavery. Also he does well to explain how economic development due to urban renewal did not benefit everyone. Deeply embedded racial policies under disguise as spatial progress have sought to bring disinvestments in communities of color as well as destroy neighborhoods and displace peoples for the advantage of developers and the selected elite. Boone brought up Ebenezer Howard’s idea of the Garden City Movement and I wondered who or specifically who did not fit into this vision of a clean air and a green city? To whom did it benefit and who ultimately had access to it?
CBE Diversity Council Updates
EDI Strategic Plan Update
The college is about to launch its first-ever EDI Strategic Plan, drafted by the CBE Diversity Council! This plan The Council is composed of students, staff and faculty representing all departments in the college. This EDI Strategic Plan is intended to help guide the College in matters of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, to offer support and resources to students, staff and faculty around those issues, and to foster a supportive and inclusive environment in which all members of the college community can thrive.
The draft Strategic Plan will be released for public comment on Wednesday, May 31st. All members of the college – students, staff and faculty – are invited to provide input during the public comment period from May 31 to June 14th. Here are the links to the Strategic Plan and to the feedback form (also accessible via the QR codes provided). Student input is especially welcome.
EDIfy Movie Night: From Earth to Sky
On Thursday, May 11th, the CBE held its second annual EDIfy Movie night. This year, we showed the film, “From Earth to Sky” a unique and inspiring story of a proud and accomplished collective of Indigenous architects driving a remarkable design movement as climate change threatens the planet. The film follows the work of seven indigenous architects as they design and complete extraordinary buildings in communities across North America and Turtle Island. Beautiful and intimate, the film sparks a vital conversation paramount to transforming perspectives on how we approach our built environment. Click here to see the film trailer.
Four of the indigenous architects featured in the film joined us in Architecture Hall for a lively panel discussion after the film about indigenous design – Daniel Glenn, principal and founder of 7 Directions Architects; Patrick Stewart, Canadian-born Nisga’a architect, designer and educator from British Columbia, Alfred Waugh principal and founder of Formline Architecture in British Columbia; and Tammy Eagle Bull, President and co-founder of Encompass Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event was co-sponsored by the College of Built Environments, the AIA Diversity Roundtable, and the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.
Fil-Am Sa CBE Alumni Spotlight
On May 10, 2023, alumni Kris Feliciano (M Arch 2011 Alum, Associate Principal at Studio Meng Strazzara) and Julio Diaz (CEP 1996 Alum, WA State Commissioner on Asian Pacific American Affairs and Product Manager at Weyerhaeuser) dedicated their evening to sharing their stories, experiences, and wisdom with UW students about diversity, careers, and education in the built environment. During icebreakers, Kris, Julio, and all the attendees answered two questions: “What does diversity mean to you?” and “Why did you choose UW CBE?” Both Kris and Julio shared their discoveries of the built environment and career journeys. The meaningful dialogues provided students with valuable insights into what the future holds beyond the walls of Gould and Architecture halls.
UWLA Student-led Projects and Opportunities
Youths in the Built Environment (YBE) Update
This quarter marked the conclusion of the program series for participants from the UW Women’s Center’s Making Connections program. In their final remote class, students were reintroduced to the CBE pathways presented at the beginning of the year, with a deeper exploration of application deadlines, education funding, and portfolio examples. CBE graduate students Liz Forelle (MLA) and Bernadette Labuguen (MLA/MArch) generously shared their school application portfolios and current studio works with the students. One of the Making Connections students expressed, “Thanks to these Zoom sessions, I now have a clear idea that I might pursue a career in this field.”
The program in Denny International Middle School will conclude on Friday, 2 June 2023 with a final review of the students’ school garden design. There are still several spaces open for reviewers to join, so please sign up here!
YBE is Hiring!
Youths in the Built Environment (YBE) is a student-employee-led, and staff and faculty-supported youth outreach program in the College of Built Environments. YBE will be hiring a new lead coordinator for the 2023-24 academic year and beyond, with some onboarding to begin this summer. The lead coordinator will take primary responsibility for implementing the youth outreach program in 2023, but will be supported by 2022-23’s lead coordinator as well as the YBE program supervisors and CBE’s Office of Student Services.
This is a two-year position, with the second year fulfilling the support coordinator role with reduced hours. The lead coordinator typically works 15-20 hours per month at $20/hour, with hours fluctuating over the course of the year depending on specific program implementation. In the second year as support coordinator, the time commitment drops to 5-10 hours/month.
Program Description: This youth outreach program is a University of Washington (UW) student-employee-led, staff and faculty-supported program entering its third year of programming. We work with existing educational programs that focus on serving youths from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color that have been unfairly impacted by environmental injustices in the Duwamish Valley.
We believe that this student-to-student model is an effective and impactful form of bringing youths from historically underrepresented communities into the built environment fields. By engaging youth around public space, ecology, and social justice questions, the program seeks to empower youths as experts and changemakers within their own communities. Through lectures we provide opportunities for them to reflect on the effects of living in these adverse conditions, and integrate skill building and design opportunities that allow them to create their own solutions for improving the environmental and social health of their community spaces.
The design portion of the curriculum focuses on a local site to create a strong connection between the youths, their physical environment, and design processes. Through exploration, conversations, and design, we empower youth to reimagine a different, more equitable, and just future through the lens of the built environment and community-based design.
Program participants are middle school and high school aged youth. In the 2021-22 academic year, our partners have included Denny International Middle School (DIMS) and Chief Sealth International High School’s (CSIHS) Proyecto Saber program, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, collaborations with youth outreach events in the Architecture department, as well as virtual sessions with the UW Women’s Center. Each lesson is generally an hour long, and delivered to groups of 10-20 students at a time. At DIMS and CSIHS, back-to-back sessions of the same lesson plan are delivered to the different periods of the Proyecto Saber program participants. Over the course of the year, we anticipate working with 150-200 individual students over multiple sessions.
Coordinator Responsibilities: Duties include curriculum review and updates, classroom preparation and coordination with youth program partners; reporting and budget tracking; website and social media updates; volunteer outreach and coordination; presenting to youths in classroom settings; engaging with relevant community organizations to promote the program; and general program implementation and oversight.
Qualifications: Seeking a current student in the College of Built Environments with at least two years remaining until graduation. Strong organizational, visual and written communication and time management skills are required. Report writing, budget oversight and design skills are also desired. Strong preference for students who have worked with youths in underserved communities in the past, and/or who have come from an underserved community themselves.
Additional Information: There are still a few opportunities left to volunteer with this year’s YBE program before the application deadline (this FRIDAY 6/2). You can sign up here and/or reach out to Bernadette Labuguen(email@example.com) for more information on participating in these sessions.
Submit: Submit digital copies of your resume and brief letter of interest to Jennie Li, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Feel free to reach out with any questions about the program/position.
Date Due: Monday, June 5, 5:00 pm
Burke Meadow Monitoring and Management – Student Research Assistant
Appointment: 0.1 FTE or 4 hours/week (July 2023 – June 2024)
Compensation: Competitive, but variable depending on undergraduate/graduate Enrollment
The Burke Meadow Monitoring and Management project is a community building and research collaboration between the Department of Landscape Architecture (UWLA), The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Burke), UW Grounds, and GGN. The 4-year project (2020 -2024) is supported by the UW Campus Sustainability Fund. Designed and installed as part of the newly constructed Burke Museum the Burke Meadow is an approximately 10,000 sq. ft. area of the site that contains a planting mix of Northwest native meadow species that are culturally important to regional tribal communities, including several species of camas (Camassia spp.). For the past three years, UWLA team members have been working closely with the collaboration team to monitor plant establishment, individual plant growth, and plant community evolution through monthly data gathering. Building relationships based on trust, decolonization, and transparency between the
meadow’s stakeholders have been critical to the project’s success.
We are seeking an individual to join the team from July 2023 – June 2024. Most of the work is outside at the meadow collecting monthly monitoring data, assisting UW Grounds in site maintenance, planning, and facilitating volunteer events, and organizing team meetings. Other duties include data entry, field notes, and presenting work to the Native American Advisory Board and the Burke Museum when requested.
- Enrolled as a student at the University of Washington for AY2023-24
- Ability to organize team meetings and communicate updates and information frequently
and clearly with team members
- Ability to work both independently and as a team player
- Ability to work in inclement weather conditions
- Ability to maintain organization of photo and plot data
- Strong organization skills and attention to detail
- Knowledge of Pacific Northwest native plants
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel
- Strong communications skills
- Work Study eligibility
If interested in this position, please provide a letter of interest, and resume to Ken Yocom
(email@example.com) by June 12, 2023.
Online Resources + Upcoming Events
UW Landscape Architecture Fund for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Link to the Giving Page
For questions, contact Laura Barrera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please consider supporting the next generation of landscape architects by giving or asking someone you love to give to our community’s Fund for Equity Diversity Inclusion. This is a current-use fund that supports equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives in Landscape Architecture. This can include support for mentorship programming, workshops, trainings and conferences for faculty, staff and students, etc.
*Note: This fund is separate from the “Endowed Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Landscape Architecture” fund and “MIG Scholarship Fund for the Design of Equitable and Inclusive Environments.” For questions about these, or any other funds, please contact Bernadette Bascom at email@example.com.
Community Art Walk | Organizing for Housing Justice
Thursday June 1, 2023 | 4:30-7:30pm
School of Social Work, UW Seattle campus
Huskies for Housing is hosting a launch event for the Look At Me Through My Eyes art installation on Thursday, June 1st from 4:30-7:30pm at the UW School of Social Work (4101 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105). Huskies for Housing is cohosting this event with Tent City Collective and HACK@UW. This event will be a space for community members and UW students to connect, engage with the amazing art that’s displayed, and learn more about homelessness in Seattle and ways to create transformative change in the community. There will be some light snacks and we will be raising funds for TC3 and the participating artists.
Michelle Cassandra Johnson presents ‘We Heal Together’
Friday June 2, 2023 | 7-8:30 pm
Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98155
Third Place Books welcomes Michelle Cassandra Johnson to our Ravenna store! Johnson will be presenting her new book, We Heal Together: Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
Save the Date for Leadership Academy: Black Transwomen’s Carceral Histories
Saturday June 3, 2023 | 11:30am – 2:30pm
Women’s Center, Cunningham Hall, UW Seattle campus
This program connects students, faculty, staff, and community to the histories of Black Transwomen leadership, justice, and carceral systems. This program gives folks from minoritized gender identities the opportunity to learn the stories of leaders in their communities who have been targeted by unjust carceral institutions.
There will be brunch, screening of the documentary “Free Cece!” by Laverne Cox and Jac Gares, and a workshop discussion session to allow for our community to reflect and begin to build understanding and advocacy for this work.
Leadership Without Borders Undocu Summit 2023
Thursday June 15th | 9am
The Undocu Summit 2023 will occur on Thursday, June 15, 2023!
This year’s theme, Empowerment in our Resiliency, highlights continual growth through our fullest potential, diversity and self-determination among undocumented and mixed-status family voices. The summit will explore essential components of empowerment that include the tools, information/resources and the freedom within the undocumented community to continue to achieve common goals and live our purpose.
We are excited to bring keynote speakers and workshop presenters that highlight dialogues and advocacy work in the immigrant and undocumented communities.
The registration fee for this one-day conference is $75 for faculty, professional staff, and community members. If you are paying with a UW Budget Code please email Hugo Garcia Villa at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect the budget code and in return you will receive a promotion code for the registration.
We are also offering conference sponsorship for college students. To register students can also email Hugo Garcia Villa at email@example.com to obtain a promotion code for registration.