Diversity at Eastern

EWU is one of the most diverse college campuses in the Pacific Northwest.

We’re Better Together

EWU thrives on all kinds of diversity, and so will you. Our students come from 43 states and 70 countries. More than 1 in 3 are from diverse backgrounds, and over 50 percent are the first in their families to attend college.

Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our Commitment: Advancing Equality and Justice

Learn more about the actions EWU takes in response to allegations of racial or identity-based bias:

Incident Response Measures Report an Incident


Higher Education Leaders Work Together to Create a More Equitable Community

June 7, 2020 – The Spokesman-Review

George Floyd should still be alive.

No Black person should fear harm from the people charged with protecting the community. The pain and outrage pulsing through our country and our community comes from people who are tired of being threatened, tired of being fearful, tired of being patient, tired of waiting for things to get better. They are calling for change. And while we must listen, we also must move to action. We must bring about real and lasting change to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and equity in our country.

Some people talk about the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s as an effort that ended because its goals were reached. But people of color in our country know a different reality. They still face discrimination in the workplace, community, education and legal systems. Their lives are at risk simply because of the color of their skin.

How can anyone be complacent when the stolen life of George Floyd is viewed alongside that of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed when jogging through a white neighborhood, or Christian Cooper, a Black man who was threatened with police action by a white woman with her unleashed dog? How can we be anything but outraged that these actions occurred decades after Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us that, “As long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again?” Fifty-two years after the murder of that great civil rights leader, on the streets of an American city, a Black man died while crying out “I can’t breathe.”

As leaders of the higher education institutions in Spokane, we stand in solidarity with those who are calling for change, and we pledge to do our part in educating not just our students, but our entire college communities, about the continuing injustice in our society. We will empower them to work together for meaningful changes. We will not pretend to have all the answers, and we will never presume to act as if each of us knows what it feels like to be a person of color, in America today.

As colleges and universities, we will use this moment to examine – truly and deeply examine – how we teach, what we teach, and how we treat each other during the time we have together. What are we doing in our institutions to address ongoing racism suffered by Black and historically minoritized students, faculty, staff and community members? Are we infusing knowledge and practices that build bridges, celebrate differences and protect each other? Are we immediately and directly addressing instances of racial intolerance, white supremacy or other forms of hatred? Are we bringing speakers to our campuses who can help inspire and help guide all of us through these important transitions?

It is not enough to try. We recognize we must put this at the forefront of our work. Every single day. Because the moment we stop moving forward and stop working with everyone in our community is the moment we allow another Black life to be devalued.

Last weekend, an estimated 3,000 people in Spokane – people of all races, ages, and nationalities – came together to demand justice and the end of inhuman and unfair treatment by law enforcement. This is the time for action.

Our pain as a country is deep, and healing will not come without change. Every one of us can be part of that change and we all have a responsibility to do our part. Let’s break down the barriers that keep us separated and vow to learn more about each other. Let’s become educated about the history of

discrimination and prejudice in our nation and in our region. Let’s work together to find paths toward reform, and let’s all be willing to listen – to truly listen to voices that have not been heard.

And let us honor George Floyd by working to create a community in which everyone is treated with human dignity, respect and justice.

Black lives matter.

Mary Cullinan, Former President, Eastern Washington University
Daryll B. DeWald, Vice President, Health Sciences, Chancellor, WSU Spokane
Christine Johnson, Chancellor, Community Colleges of Spokane
Thayne M. McCulloh, President Gonzaga University
Beck A. Taylor, President, Whitworth University

Embracing Equality

Communities flourish when multiple perspectives converge to create a powerful vision for all. EWU fosters a campus life that is vibrant, welcoming, and supportive of all. We provide opportunities for open thought and dialogue. As the state’s premier public diversity-serving institution, we are committed to catalyzing an equitable and inclusive climate on our campuses and in our communities.

Eastern is a recipient of the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Photo: A multicultural event on the campus mall
EWU Students celebrating in front of JFK Library

What We Incorporate

An earnest commitment to diversity and inclusivity incorporates the following:

  • understanding that each individual is unique and deserving of respect
  • recognizing that people can represent multiple categories of identity at the same time, which means that their experiences will be very different from one another and that they will experience categories of identity differently depending on where they fit socially within structures of inequality and/or privilege
  • expanding the view of diversity beyond the acknowledgment of commonalities to recognition and honoring of differences
  • acknowledging that there are both unique individual and collective needs and achievements of diverse populations
  • moving beyond simple tolerance of differences toward the more comprehensive goals of pluralism and inclusive excellence
  • making a commitment to inclusivity at all levels, and the active and meaningful involvement of diverse individuals in decision-making processes
  • recognizing the uniqueness of individuals, populations and groups and their experiences, and the need for expression of voice, recognition, and inclusion in order to develop the fullness of human potential and positive psychosocial development, specifically addressing the barriers to communication, relationship building and organizational development caused by socio-cultural misunderstandings, dominance, and fear
  • promoting active and regular engagement between individuals and groups that represent different characteristics and categories of identity, in order to explore differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment, and develop understanding across lines of perceived differences
  • the development of a process for identifying proactive diversity and inclusivity goals and a structure for accountability regarding the achievement of those goals

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