Equity Across the Curriculum

Equity Across the Curriculum     

Historically pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred...Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

       - Arundhati Roy, The Pandemic is a Portal

How can UW Bothell foster a community of learners ready to “imagine another world,” one that advances UW Bothell’s goal to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion? The Equity Across the Curriculum Initiative explores this question as it relates to liberatory pedagogy and faculty development. It is a peer-to-peer faculty development project co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Learning and Teaching Collaborative and the Office of Diversity and Equity. 


The Equity Across the Curriculum group  will focus on three key areas of focus identified by EAC members during the 2020/2021 academic year. These are: Navigating Difficult Conversations, Designing Inclusive Syllabi, and Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students. In addition to these three areas, we are committed to building knowledge on pedagogies that are trauma-informed and which center harm-reduction for those students who are marginalized within higher education. 


  • Natasha Merchant (Chair, SES)
  • Ching-In Chen (IAS)
  • Gavin Doyle (IAS and FYPP)
  • Jason H. Morse (IAS and FYPP)
  • Alexandria T Musselman (STEM)
  • Sarita Shukla (SES)
  • Penelope Wood (Campus Library)

with administrative support from Cinnamon Hillyard and Richie Meyer (Office of Student Academic Success).

Our Approach

Strategy Per Track
  • Navigating Difficult Conversations
    The terms used to describe social inequities in universities are varied and hold a variety of political meanings. In this track we are prioritizing understanding and discussing the frame of white supremacy culture and its manifestations in the classroom. We plan to introduce the frame of white supremacy culture and allow instructors to reflect on the ways in which this culture shows up and even organizes our syllabi, expectations, content, and even our interactions. While moving toward change is important, our session for this academic year will focus primarily on understanding how white supremacy culture exists in the classroom and reflecting on the ways we, as instructors, perpetuate or resist it.

  • Designing Inclusive Syllabi
    A series of three workshops will be planned throughout the academic year that focus on designing a syllabus that is inclusive of learners with a wide variety of learning styles/abilities, social positions/identities, and comfort levels in the university and that uses student-focused and supportive (rather than authoritarian and punitive) language.  The first session will be held in Autumn quarter, the second will be held in early Winter, while the third will be held toward the end of Winter quarter. This way, faculty can workshop a syllabus they plan to teach during Spring.

  • Supporting Trans & Non-Binary Students
    Both of the engagements in this area center student-impact. Geared toward instructors and staff across the campus, the first event in this area will present case-studies for participants to work through. The second event would bring a student panel to share their educational experiences at UWB. Compensating students on this panel is incredibly important as we are asking them to not only share their time but also to do considerable emotional labor. In addition, we ask for compensation for attendees as this is an area tremendously under-resourced on our campus.

Building Infrastructure for Faculty Support

The EAC would like to work with the office of  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and others to discuss the learning from the past year as well as how faculty can be better supported at UWB when they do design anti-racist and liberatory pedagogies. Specifically, our goals are to:

  • Address the ways equity work ‘counts’ for promotion and tenure across various departments
  • Along with senior colleagues and administration, create support mechanisms for instructors who adopt liberatory pedagogies, particularly those instructors (faculty and staff) who are marginalized within the institution.
  • Work with senior faculty and administrators to create a power-map of the ‘big-gaps’  in order to strategically identify where resources should be focused in terms of equity work, specific to the UWB campus. This will help reduce redundancy and clarify a vision for faculty and staff development rather than a reactionary posture.
Fall 2021
Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students Case Study Workshop
Zoom, November 16, 2021, 2pm
Designing Inclusive Syllabi Intro: Language, Power & Syllabi (Session 1 of 3)
Zoom, December 10, 2021, 10am
Winter 2021
Designing Inclusive Syllabi Workshop: Reviewing and implementing strategies for inclusive syllabi (Session 2 of 3) - Zoom
Designing Inclusive Syllabi Workshop: Review furst two sessions and work off a checklist to revise and peer-review syllabi
Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students Student Panel: Trans and Non-Binary UW students discuss classroom experiences and the role of instructors in creating inclusive/exclusive environments
Navigating Difficult Conversations Guest Speaker: 'What is white supremacy culture and how does it function in the classroom.' This talk will include time for instructor reflection.