Profs. Alexes Harris and LaShawnDa Pittman Host the Black Faculty Collective Welcome Reception

Submitted by Ellen Palms on
Black faculty from UW Seattle and Tacoma

In 2020, Drs. Alexes Harris and LaShawnDa Pittman organized Black faculty on campus by bringing together nearly 60 faculty from across the 3 campuses. Their collective mission statement reads:

 The University of Washington Black Faculty Collective (BFC) is an inclusive and healing space intended for faculty across our three campuses who identify as Black or African American. We welcome all faculty, including visiting scholars and research professors, lecturers, tenure-track and tenured professors. We have three chief aims: (1) to offer a healing space for Black faculty to talk about and address issues related to our community and to build community, (2) to share our research and provide opportunities for collaboration, and (3) to provide professional and leadership development. With these aims in mind, we envision holding theme-based workshops related to welcoming new Black faculty to campus in the fall, professional and leadership development in the winter, and celebrating our accomplishments in the spring. 

 We also outlined and worked with BFC members to moderate additional meetings on topics such as work/life balance, understanding the university administration, sharing research and resources, and discussing current issues.

 Black faculty from UW Tacoma and Seattle came from the College of Education, School of Social Work, the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Business, the Center for Computer Science & Engineering, School of Drama, the iSchool, English, Sociology, Linguistics, Public Policy, American Ethnic Studies, GWSS, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership. 

 Ed Taylor (vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs), Denzil Suite (Vice President for Student Life) and Rickey Hall (vice president for Minority Affairs & Diversity) and Emile Pitre (founding member of the Black Student Union, a longtime staff member in the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, and recipient of the 2020 Charles E. Odegaard Award) supported the event.