We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present. We honor, with gratitude, the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.



June 1969: Our community is familiar with the story. The riot that launched a widespread movement for the advancement of safety and liberty for LGBTQ+ persons. Stonewall. A riot, a movement, led by queer women of color. This year, along with Pride, it is important to think about what we can do to make sure that all of our community is remembered, protected, safe, and free. Let us remember the words of artist Micah Bazant: “No Pride For Some of Us Without Liberation For All of Us.” We are outraged by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other Black lives lost at the hands of police. We are outraged by the murders of Riah Milton and Rem’Mie Fell and the continued violence against black trans women. We are appalled by police brutality, systemic racism, white supremacy, and all types of hate. It is important that we say their names. It is important to say their names not only in grief, but in celebration. We celebrate the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Riah Milton, Rem’Mie Fell and the countless other lives lost. We celebrate BIPOC LGBTQ+ lives, including Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Phil Wilson, Rustin Bayard and so many others. We celebrate all Black lives. It is vital that we amplify the Black voices within our own community. It is our responsibility to speak out against hate, violence, and racism in any form.

Black LGBTQ+ Lives Matter.

Honor the dead, and fight for the living.

Our Commitment and Plan to Promote Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

We Believe

We believe that the best social research comes from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds, and experiences and we are committed to cultivating these diversities in an inclusive work environment. The Institute provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, age, sex, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, ability or disability, veteran status, or any other protected category under federal, state or local law. As part of our Institute, we support the development, growth, and retention of all employees and those who engage in our work, including volunteers, participants, and communities.

Our Vision

The Institute researches vulnerable populations and designs innovative solutions to improve their health, well-being, and longevity. Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) are fundamental to the Institute and our mission. Our work is based on the Health Equity Promotion Model (Fredriksen Goldsen, et al., 2014), which we developed to prioritize equity. A primary premise of our framework is that all individuals have a right to equity in their development, health, and well-being, and it is a collective responsibility to ensure that all have access to reach their full potential. 

Through academic research, teaching, and intervention and program delivery, we remain vigilant and mindful of the intersections of the diverse characteristics noted above. Our core principles respect and acknowledge equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion for everyone we work or collaborate with, or for whom we serve directly or indirectly, regardless of their background, experience, and perspective. We embody these values in our work with one another and through our engagement and services for the community.

In concert with UW-wide efforts, we work to build a more welcoming, inclusive community. We emphatically affirm that while the quality of our work is essential, our well-being is equally important. The psychological and physical well-being of our faculty, staff, students, and program participants is vital to all well-rounded and holistic people. We value one another as human beings with all our distinctive differences. We believe that consistent with our strengths and abilities, we must help each other sustain our well-being. We research, solve problems, invent, think boldly, and grow as individuals and as a team. We also mentor others and collaborate effectively as team members. We strive to create a community with equal access and opportunity. Our vision is to treat one another with respect, openness, fairness, and kindness.

In collaboration with the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, we pledge to encourage, through our research, education and interventions and programs, attention to, and activism on, social, racial, gender, sexuality, and age justice issues. We pledge to welcome and support hiring underrepresented employees and students.

The Context

The 20th century was marred by significant, violent confrontations surrounding racism, sexism, inequality, xenophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism. During the first two decades of the 21st century, we continued to endure momentous events, such as the attack on 9/11 (2001), the devastating structural and political aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Occupy Wall-Street movement (2008), the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary (2012), the protests for racial equality in Ferguson (2014), George Floyd’s murder (2020), and confrontations for sexual and gender justice. We exist in an era of social upheaval and transformation, carrying both peril and promise. Like many other organizations, the Goldsen Institute is implicated in, and feels the ramifications of, this complex social landscape.

While Social Work as a discipline has a history of participating (intentionally and unintentionally) in the oppression of many marginalized groups, the Institute strives to achieve social justice and work toward undoing institutionalized oppressions of all kinds and providing resources for communities to thrive and live lives that are supported and valued.

Our Commitments

  • Recognize that DEAI is essential to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and those we serve.
  • Recognize and dismantle any potential inequities in our policies, research, education, systems, programs, and services.
  • Continually update and report the Institute’s ongoing progress.
  • Investigate potential root causes, including unchallenged assumptions that deter DEAI, and inclusion.
  • Promote and support broad-level thinking about how systemic inequities influence our work and what we can do to address these biases.
  • Recognize and promote an intentionally diverse leadership within our faculty, staff, student, participants, and advisory bodies.
  • Challenge assumptions about the attributes of an Institute leader and who is well positioned to provide that leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all exchanges.
  • Lead with respect and engagement; we expect all employees to embrace these notions and to express them in workplace interactions and everyday practices.

Guiding Principles

  • Pursue DEAI throughout the Institute; we create ongoing training and learning opportunities and abide by formal and transparent policies and procedures.
  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative data to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our DEAI, and inclusion measures.
  • Post curated DEAI content on our website for all to access.
  • Advance the Institute’s cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership and reflect our diverse society.
  • Expand offerings to underrepresented constituents by connecting with community partners committed to DEAI efforts.
  • Develop and present sessions on DEAI to provide information and resources internally, to staff, students, volunteers, and the community.
  • Develop and implement a system for being intentional and conscious of biases during all hiring, promoting, and evaluating processes. Educate and provide those hiring with equitable practice guides.
  • Advocate for more academic, public, and private sector policies that promote DEAI.
  • Challenge systems and procedures that create or maintain disparity, inequity, and oppression.

The following sections focus on Policy & Procedures providing structure and accountability to the Institute.

Retention and career advancement practice

The Institute, the School of Social Work, and the University of Washington promote the retention and success of a diverse and inclusive faculty, staff, and students at the UW. Overall, our goal is to advance the professional development and careers of those in leadership and staff positions as well as students and intervention and program participants. The UW offers training and mentoring opportunities, resources on tips and techniques on professional development and career advancement, and access to workshops and other training opportunities.

Mandatory and continuous DEAI training at the Institute

The Institute fosters ongoing continuous training on DEAI, growth, and leadership among management, staff, faculty, and students; all are engaged in DEAI related practices. We recognize the importance of cultural dialogue and listening sessions to provide opportunities for feedback and growth. The UW provides annual DEAI training opportunities for leadership and staff and we encourage employees to attend these trainings. We support leadership and staff in taking risks and developing new skills that provide opportunities for advancement and growth.

To evaluate our progress, we assess the following:

Demographic Data
We routinely collect, disaggregate, and analyze demographic data for all programmatic and operational work, using the data for planning and decision-making.

The Community
We have strong, mutually beneficial, accountable, and equitable partnerships with diverse organizations and communities, including leaders from resilient underserved communities.

Multicultural Inclusion
Staff, faculty, students, and program participants feel valued. All aspects of the Institute reflect the voice, contributions, and interests of a multicultural and diverse society; the Institute has an inclusive and multicultural culture and has created systems, policies, and practices to strengthen this culture.

On-going Feedback Mechanisms

We provide opportunities in our evaluation of programs and services for participants to provide feedback and input on their experiences and evaluation of the services and programs provided.

Transparency and Accountability

We work to ensure transparency at all levels, including practices and policies.
We will ensure DEAI systematically guides our decisions by operationalizing DEAI and including them in our policies and procedures, day-to-day practices, and resource allocations. The Institute fosters ongoing training and evaluation of DEAI, growth, and leadership among management, staff, faculty, students and intervention and program participants; all are held accountable for DEAI related practices and to achieve the outcomes we set.

Yearly, we develop and distribute an annual report outlining our activities and impact as an Institute. The Institute and its leaders are committed to helping to build the DEAI field and develop best practices by which to evaluate our progress. We demonstrate our accountability to clients, staff, students, collaborators, and community and other stakeholders through the development and distribution of transparent policies and practices, with clear goals, strategies, and indicators of progress. All evaluation and accountability mechanisms (projects, programs, management, faculty staff, and participants) include specific DEAI related metrics that are measured and reviewed regularly.