Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Communication Leadership holds equity, diversity, and advocacy as foundational values. We embrace the power of difference as we strive to create classrooms, scholarship, mentoring relationships, and working environments that push past a surface commitment to inclusion, to foster a true sense of belonging in our community.

Further, we believe interrupting and dismantling systemic racism is essential to the kind of communication leadership that drives our students. We believe that our graduates spread our values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to any workplace they become part of — and to the world beyond.

Share Your Thoughts

We’re always looking for your input on how we can support our students, advance the cause of justice and dismantle systemic racism. Please complete this feedback form to reflect on the effectiveness of current initiatives and share new ideas.


During the 2018-19 academic year the Communication Leadership program partnered with our department’s Center for Communication, Difference and Equity(CCDE) to help craft the future of our program’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. As a result of this partnership, CCDE organized and offered a year-long event series on Interrupting Microaggressions that was attended by our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. During the same year, CCDE also audited our curriculum and syllabi, recruitment process, and hiring process through the lenses of diversity and equity, providing recommendations that continue to inform our program’s practices.

Our Student Consultancy is addressing the interrelated public health crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism. We’re offering pro bono communication consulting to community based organizations and small businesses in South Seattle and South King County, with a particular focus on the communications challenges raised by these dual crises.

Our Consultancy Program also provides more involved support of community organizations, with a particular focus on those with an equity lens. Both these initiatives include scholarship support for the students involved, to help offset tuition costs.


We are currently fundraising for a new equity scholarship fund, which we hope to launch during the 2020-21 academic year.

Also starting in the 2020-21 academic year we are sponsoring bi-annual workshops on implicit bias, racism and related topics, offered by diversity and equity professionals for our current students and alumni.


We’re working intentionally to diversify our faculty, embracing the ethos that when all students see themselves reflected in faculty, and a diversity of perspectives are represented, everyone’s education is advanced. We have a long way to go. Currently just over 20% of faculty and staff positions are held by people of color, with 60% held by women. For more, visit our faculty page.

Starting with the 2020-21 academic year we are commiting to funding all our faculty and staff to participate in the transformative People’s Institute Undoing Institutional Racism training, or any other diversity, equity and inclusion training of their choosing.

You can also learn about student demographic diversity on our program overview page.


Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core topics in our program’s curriculum. Below is a list of classes currently offered that touch on these issues, in relation to internal communications, advocacy, law, storytelling, marketing and more, with additional classes in the 2020-21 academic year. We will keep a list of our course offerings related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion related topics on this page. You can view our full course listings here.

COMMLD 510: Leveraging Diverse Perspectives for Product Content Strategy

COMMLD 542: Leading Distributed and Diverse Teams in a Global World

COMMLD 543: Leadership Approaches to Equity Initiatives in Organizations

COMMLD 551: The Law and Ethics of Organizations

COMMLD 560: Communicating Across Power and Identities

COMMLD 560: Designing Inclusive Workplace Culture

COMMLD 560: Communication Strategies for Inclusion and Equity

COMMLD 563: Multicultural Marketing: Creating Equitable and Inclusive Communications

COMMLD 562 Communication for Advocacy

COMMLD 570: Digital Cross-Cultural Storytelling for Leadership and Global Networking

University Resources for Students of Color

The University of Washington and the Communication Department are committed to combating racism and inequities. Read the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement from the Dept. of Communication and University of Washington’s Race & Equity Initiative to learn more about their commitments.The  Graduate School Diversity Report detail where we are now and what work still needs to be done to fulfill our long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, the Center for Communication, Difference & Equity, and Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) offer resources for students of color including academic services, community events, and funding opportunities. 

International Students can reach out to International Student Services for information on everything from obtaining a visa to finding work after graduation. 

Other community resources, student groups, and opportunities for students of color include the Black Student Union, The Dream Project, and Diversity resources in the broader community from the iSchool.