University of Washington School of Law (UW Law) Dean’s Anti-Racism Statement; Commitment to Anti-Racism Work

WHEREAS, there have been ongoing, systemic and perpetual racial and societal injustices embedded in this country’s past and present; and

WHEREAS, the aforementioned injustices arise from white supremacy, structural racism, and explicit and implicit bias that have existed throughout the history of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the legal community plays an essential role in fighting ignorance and intolerance, is well situated to nurture inclusivity, to examine and rectify whatever systemic racism may be embedded in our own policies and practices and within the greater legal community and legal system; and

WHEREAS, the recent killings of Layleen Polanco, Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Philando Castile, Tanisha Anderson, Atatiana Jefferson, Charleena Lyles, Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Maurice Gordon, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jr., Tamir Rice, John Crawford III, Walter Scott, Tony McDade, and many others have stirred concern and outrage at ongoing and systemic anti-Black racism both in the United States and globally and have precipitated the widespread and growing sense that recognizing the social norm of anti-racism is imperative.

THEREFORE, Dean Mario Barnes of UW Law agrees to take and encourage faculty and staff to take the following steps:

  1. Investigate all aspects of our program of legal education to determine where institutional racism has an impact and to continue taking steps to eradicate that impact.
  2. Regularly evaluate and improve classroom teaching and culture to understand and eliminate racial and cultural bias and to develop workshops and seminars on identity-sensitive teaching and promoting anti-racist guidelines for curricular emphases and course materials.
  3. Educate students, staff and faculty about racism, inequality and racial oppression within the legal profession, our justice systems through, among other steps, recruitment of outstanding lawyers and/or community leaders to teach seminars, instruct courses, and lead reading groups.
  4. Make best efforts to significantly increase the number of admitted and retained students from traditionally underrepresented groups as juris doctorate or advanced degree law students;
  5. Make best efforts to recruit, hire, promote and retain traditionally underrepresented candidates as faculty, staff and administrators;
  6. The Dean’s Advisory Community on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Faculty Diversity Committee, the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Associate Dean for Students and the Student Bar Association shall develop reporting mechanisms for the items listed above that can be used by the UW Law Dean to measure progress and continue efforts to improve the UW Law community.