Equity Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

A Message from the President

Dr. Amy Goings, President of Lake Washington Insitute of Technology

Dear LWTech Community:

Since 2015, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) has been actively engaged in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work. This work began in earnest when the college introduced, with the support of the Board of Trustees, its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Plan, which was the culmination of three years of work that took place across the campus. Now, through the expert leadership from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and with input from the college community, I’m proud to share that LWTech has created an updated and robust EDI Plan.

We know since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, our country has experienced a racial awakening and calls for social justice that we haven’t seen in decades. And, while the college has been engaged in EDI work for several years, we must continue to underscore the importance of this work; we can’t let up on our pursuit of systemic change in our country to become anti-racist in our community and at our college.

Our ongoing EDI work at the college also aligns with the new requirements of Washington state Senate Bills 5194 and 5227, which require colleges to deliver equity-centered trainings and outcomes as part of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ mission of leading with racial equity. This is at the forefront of our own Mission Fulfillment Plan, which supports our Core Values that are grounded in equity:

  • Inclusive: We intentionally create a welcoming environment where all feel a sense of belonging.
  • Innovative: We are leaders in maximizing opportunities to create a thriving college community.
  • Collaborative: We are open to change and work together to achieve success for all.
  • Respectful: We engage others with acceptance, open-mindedness, courtesy, and care.

While we’ve made great strides, we are not yet an anti-racist college. We continue to evolve as a college community, and I’m incredibly proud of the work the college has done, especially during the pandemic, with innovative training, the development of this EDI Strategic Plan, rolling out new Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) courses, the growth of the Bias Response Team, and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council. We have a lot to be proud of, and yet there’s still more work to do.

The net result for the community is that we’re graduating students who are equipped to work, thrive and lead in a diverse workplace. They are better prepared to advocate for equitable changes in their chosen fields, especially in light of the glaring spotlight shone upon healthcare inequities during the pandemic.

LWTech is also a major community employer and there’s a ripple effect of our work. We are a catalyst for change not only in the college, but in the communities we serve as well. Our employees are committed to EDI work, which in turn impacts our families, friends and communities, not just in Kirkland, but around the world.

As I mentioned above, while we are not new to EDI work, there is still more for us to do. I continue to be incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and look forward to all we will accomplish together.

Signature of Dr. Amy Morrison, President of Lake Washington Insitute of Technology 

Dr. Amy Morrison
President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

A Message from LWTech’s Board of Trustees

Dear LWTech Community:

The Board of Trustees acknowledges and commends the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) work that Executive Cabinet and the entire college community has engaged in over the past nine years under the steady leadership of Dr. Morrison. The development of the updated EDI Plan is a culmination of years of EDI work at the college and is reflective of the work the college and country are doing to bring systemic change around anti-racism and EDI efforts. This work is also in alignment with the new requirements of Washington state Senate Bills 5194 and 5227, which require colleges to deliver equity-centered trainings and outcomes as part of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ mission of leading with racial equity.

We believe this Plan aligns clearly with the vision of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ work to lead our system with racial equity. We are united in our support, leadership, and policy governance of these efforts. Our annual goals also emphasize the importance of EDI work, and how seriously we take it as the governing body of the college.

The first goal of the 2021-2022 Board of Trustees Annual Goals and Strategies is to, “Provide strong leadership and direction for the college.” Within that goal, we work to evaluate and approve policies that promote anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as student enrollment, achievement, and completion. We also work to evaluate and approve policies that support anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion in both the learning and workplace environments.

As Trustees, we are involved in EDI efforts through the Washington State Association of College Trustees and in our own lives and workplaces, and we are committed to the EDI and anti-racism efforts at the college, as are the students, faculty and staff. We know there is more work to do, and we are confident that as we all work together, we will create an equitable, diverse and inclusive community at LWTech.

We are extremely proud of the collaborative work, led by the team in the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, that went into the creation of this EDI Plan.

We look forward to seeing milestones being met as the Plan rolls out over the coming years.


The Board of Trustees of Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Anne Hamilton

Dr. Lynette D. Jones, Vice Chair

Robert Malte, Chair

John Suk

Laura Wildfong

Statement from the Executive Director of EDI

LWTech’s EDI efforts are driven by our mission, core values, and the need to build out a comprehensive EDI Plan, a “living” document with the aim of planning the amazing work the college engages in to dismantle systemic racism and close opportunity gaps. Much of this work began several years ago and is now structured around key pillars of our mission, vision, and core values.

The Four Connections, Community of Belonging, and now our Diversity & Social Justice efforts: Each of these frameworks are used to strengthen our community, shape our learning environment, and provide an enriching experience for students, faculty, and staff as we continue to scale our EDI initiatives into greater action.

Many students, faculty, and staff have contributed substantially to improving the equity, diversity, and inclusion of this community, and this collaborative effort further serves as a reminder that this heart work is continuous and that our collective efforts, past and present, serves as a sustainable benchmark for our desire to evolve, innovate, and transform.

In this plan, we hope to accomplish the following:

  • Identify, acknowledge and address areas of systemic stagnation which obstruct our ability to support the growth and advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion through meaningful conversations and comprehensive professional development.
  • Lead, advise, guide and advocate for policy and program development that builds upon and promotes an atmosphere which aligns with and sustains the diverse needs of our entire campus community, fully rooted and grounded in a framework of equity.
  • Envision meaningful change that amplifies the diversity of voices present on our campus and show sustainable, measurable and data-driven results that validate our shared interests in the collective success of students, staff and faculty.

In 2021 our State Legislature committed its support of EDI through the passage of SB 5227 and SB 5194 (please see page 5) for details. These Bills provide valuable monetary resources in the hands of Institutions of Higher Ed to further the work on equity throughout our CTC System. These efforts stress the importance of our system’s wide vision through SBCTC to Lead with Racial Equity.

We intend to intentionally promote those interests through open dialogue with college leadership, through transparency of communications and with collaborative decision making.

The Office of EDI is honored to be on this amazing journey of transformation with you and we look forward to growing in our capacity to authentically engage and progress in bold awareness of our collective humanity.

Robert Britten

Executive Director, EDI

Statement from EDIC

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC) is in full support of the Strategic Plan drafted by the EDI Taskforce at LWTech. The EDIC has been working for many years on these goals and looks forward to the college community working with a formalized plan that supports the goals of establishing the language, activities of the college, and cultivating staff and faculty that represent and reflect our community.

Through the work of our subcommittees: Institutional Research, HR and Recruiting, Community Building and Professional Development – Onboarding & Training, and Community Building and Professional Development – Professional Development, the EDIC:

  • Develops a glossary of working definitions, (which is maintained as a living document to respect the evolving nature and understanding of the concepts of EDI as they develop in real time). The glossary was developed through extensive research and review to guide conversations about diversity, equity and social justice.
  • Develops and hosts reflective training activities to allow faculty and staff to continue to build lifelong skills for interacting with and appreciation of diverse populations, systemic inequities, and the importance of inclusion. These activities include book clubs, topical readings with discussion, and trainings on areas of EDI expertise within the Council meetings.
  • Continues to revise the language of the HR website to emphasize diversity and inclusion in the hiring practices, created skills- and experience-based criteria to counteract bias in candidate selection, and developed the practice of including an EDI representative on every hiring committee at the college to provide oversight to the EDI practices of each hire.
  • Supports data needs related to the EDI Strategic Plan through partnership with the Office of Research & Grants, performs an annual audit of LWTech’s Employee Satisfaction Survey, and supports additional EDI survey administration on campus.

The work of the EDIC will continue to evolve to support the goals outlined within the EDI Strategic Plan.

Introduction to the Strategic Plan

The Office of EDI is delighted to present the draft goals for the forthcoming Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (EDI SP). Each goal of this plan is designed to nest within the approved Mission Fulfillment Plan and outlines work through 2023. During the academic year of 2022-23, the Office of EDI will assess whether these goals need to be updated in alignment with accreditation and future Mission Fulfillment Plans.

This plan is proposed in recognition of work done to date on the Mission Fulfillment Plan; however, the practical nature of this alignment in no way lessens the intentionality and gravity of this work alongside the continuous updates needed in equity work. This is a living document that will be updated as follows: Goals will be approved annually each Fall (with revisions as needed) and the Office of EDI will publish a quarterly report on progress. This internal quarterly report will be published on the Team: EDI Conversations;[1] more public-facing materials are stored at: LWTech.edu/Diversity. Metrics will be added in the 2022-23 academic year. 

Statement around Board Approval

The draft goals and strategies were presented to the Board of Trustees in draft form during their May 9th Board Retreat and revised for full approval at the June 6th Board Meeting in preparation for submission to SBCTC in July.

Mission Fulfillment at LWTech and Alignment with the SBCTC

LWTech’s Mission Fulfillment Plan, which runs from 2020-23, centers itself on the strategic vision of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), shown below. The full Mission Fulfillment Plan is presented here and continues through Page 2.[2]

Strategic Vision of LWTech and the SBCTC

In partnership with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) is guided by SBCTC’s strategic vision:[3]

Leading with racial equity, our colleges maximize student potential and transform lives within a culture of belonging that advances racial, social, and economic justice in service to our diverse communities.

LWTech Mission

Grounded in equity and the need for resilience, the mission guides our overall direction as a college:

To prepare students for today's careers and tomorrow's opportunities

LWTech Vision

Grounded in equity and the need for resilience, the vision inspires how we see ourselves in the future:

To be the college of choice for workforce education

LWTech Core Values

Grounded in equity and the need for resilience, the values give us the tools to implement our mission and vision:

  • Inclusive: We intentionally create a welcoming environment where all feel a sense of belonging.
  • Innovative: We are leaders in maximizing opportunities to create a thriving college community.
  • Collaborative: We are open to change and work together to achieve success for all.
  • Respectful: We engage others with acceptance, open-mindedness, courtesy, and care.

LWTech Core Themes

Grounded in equity and the need for resilience, the core themes are the pillars supporting the mission and provide long term objectives (7 years aligned with accreditation review cycles) for the college:



LWTech is accessible to the community by providing multiple entrance points and educational pathways. The college is a conduit for students to upgrade their skills, transition into new careers, or further their education and training.


Student Achievement

At LWTech, students gain the skills and knowledge needed to achieve their educational goals and to participate in the workforce.


External Engagement

LWTech forms partnerships with governmental and community organizations, educational institutions, business, and labor in order to effectively support the Institution’s mission.


College Community

LWTech provides a safe, supported and engaging learning environment for students and work environment for faculty and staff

LWTech Mission Fulfillment Goals

Grounded in equity and the need for resilience, the planning goals are the short term (3-4 years), action focused goals aligned with the Core Themes (formerly called strategic planning goals):

Goal 1

Address and dismantle structural racism

Associated Core Themes


Goal 2

Continue implementation of Guided Pathways

Associated Core Themes


Goal 3

Position the college as a leader in workforce training for the state’s short-term and long-term economic recovery

Associated Core Themes


Senate Bills

In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed two bills that, in addition to work in progress at LWTech, provided guidance in writing this plan. The two bills are:

  • Senate Bill 5227[4] – Diversity in Education: This bill established annual diversity, equity and inclusion professional development and learning opportunities for college and university students, faculty, and staff. The bill also establishes regular campus climate assessments and listening and feedback sessions for the college community.
  • Senate Bill 5194[5] – Equity & Access in Higher Education: This bill implemented a Faculty Diversity program, requirements to post DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) definitions on the website and outreach/peer mentoring for students.

Statement of Thanks to the Task Force

On behalf of The Office of EDI, we want to say “thank you” to our EDI Task Force Members:

  • Anthony Bowers
  • Sherry McLean
  • Brian Ramos
  • Sharon Raz
  • Jenny Rogoff
  • Leslie Shattuck
  • Sam Gracie
  • Sarah Chandler
  • Cathy Copeland
  • Tuan Dang
  • Kimberly Goddard
  • Elsa Gossett
  • Corrine Ash

What we have accomplished in such a short period of time is simply remarkable. You worked very hard and put in long hours of reading, listening and adding valuable content in our mission to achieve our collective goal of formalizing our college's EDI Strategic Plan.

The success of this team is a college success, and we couldn’t have done it without you. While there is still much work to be done, we are thankful that you will continue to add great value and expertise to this fully collaborative process. We can’t applaud you enough for a job well done.

EDI Summary of Accomplishments Across Campus Since 2020

LWTech, in developing this plan, laid groundwork for an equity-focused future and commitment to diversity. LWTech’s use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and establishment of the student RISE Center and the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success (CEVSS) are but a few of the areas of growth and access in our equity work.

As this plan developed, accomplishments from the past two years across the college included the following:

  • Established the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Formalized Institutional Land Acknowledgement; began widespread adoption of this acknowledgement in campus and department meetings.
  • Conducted a formal campus climate assessment.
  • Conducted Listening Sessions for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) faculty, staff, and students. Engaged in discussion on racial trauma with an outside facilitator.
  • Offered public health vaccine clinics for faculty, staff, students, and community members.
  • Facilitated EDI-focused trainings including topics such as microaggressions, cultural humility and forms of respect.
  • Hosted EDI-related book clubs.
  • Established first-ever Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) requirement for associate-level degrees and certificates; to date, 35 instructors have completed training to modify curriculum to infuse the equity lens across programs.
  • Revamped faculty tenure guide to center equity in the tenure process; for example, tenure candidates will provide reflections on EDI work to broad audiences on campus.
  • Launched Ask EDI via Microsoft Teams, where the college community can pose questions to EDI leadership.
  • Began regular EDI Leadership Training Sessions for the Leadership Team on campus. The Leadership Team is made up of exempt employees.
  • Provided Senate Testimony for the passage of SB 5227.
  • Hosted annual DSJ spotlight week.
  • Created re-entry support for formerly justice-involved students.
  • Established the Digital Accessibility Committee and the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Days (GAAD).
  • Expanded the role of the Bias Response Team (BRT) to provide recommendations to the college administration regarding responses to hate/bias incidents in the college community.
  • Ensure widespread incorporation of pronouns into formal/branded email signatures and employee nametags.
  • Created DSJ collections in the college library with physical and electronic resources.

Background Data

Following the May 2022 Board of Trustees meeting; the draft goals and strategies were further refined, and additional feedback sought and received from various stakeholder groups by attending department level meetings and integrating those considerations into the plan.

Metrics of Success

We will have an ongoing process of accessing and evaluating our success in collaborative partnership with our Institutional Research Division and collecting data that informs what focus areas need attention. Our metrics of success will be measured by the results we get in attracting and retaining students, staff and faculty from underrepresented communities, and by our college being fully aware of barriers to success and actively working to disrupt them.

Why focus on three categories?

Circular pie chart, divided equally into three categories: systems, student and employee

How is this plan aspirational?

  • This will be developed in strategies, actions and accountability measures that align with mission fulfillment.
  • There is a level of repetitiveness as some aspects of the work overlap from department to department and that is necessary to ground the college in the long-term aspects of equity centered work.
  • Not dissimilar to past work; we are being direct in the approach we are taking. The work has happened historically, but we aim to provide added accountability and regular updates on progress in ea of our critical areas. It is by no means solely the work of the Office of EDI, but college wide initiatives that will require the entire college’s participation.

Mission Fulfillment Plan, Goal One: Address and dismantle structural racism.

EDI Goal One: Create and adopt a shared framework of equity through an established common language, that is informed by historically underserved communities, that will become the foundation for the collaborative reexamination of institutional structures and processes.

EDI Goal Expanded: This goal acknowledges the inherit structural racism imbedded within our systems and the need to continue to build on previous EDI work. This goal establishes a shared framework of equity that will be the foundation in reexamining policies and processes throughout LWTech. Using collected feedback from students, staff, and faculty, LWTech will design and implement campus-wide trainings and initiatives on a wide variety of EDI themes to begin the process of grounding our campus with a common language and to inform our new and ongoing campus initiatives.


  • Standardize and publish EDI definitions for multiple levels of EDI literacy
  • Provide ongoing diversity professional development for the college community inclusive of faculty and staff
  • Develop and/or provide EDI-focused programs and activities to students
  • Reexamine institutional policies and processes through a shared equity framework.
  • Implement shared governance to promote accountability and transparency.
  • Provide support and resources to create and expand on each division’s annual dept-level plan through a shared framework of equity.
  • In addition to the proposed 5-year campus climate assessment in Senate Bill 5227, we will assess our college at least every two years to coincide with our EDI Strategic Plan submission to SBCTC to continuously evaluate our effectiveness in identifying and addressing structural barriers.

This goal and accompanying strategies contribute to the mission fulfillment plan by:

  • Introducing a common language of equity-based definitions as the foundation for building a better Lake Washington Institute of Technology.
  • To understand the foundational components of structural racism we must first understand how they were/are used to adversely impact underrepresented communities.
  • Being specific and intentional about the need to address and dismantle structural racism and provide institutional training and support structures that scaffold our learning and growth in this area.
  • Providing transparency on the specific steps we are taking to inform and collaborate with our students, staff and faculty on the development and deployment of antiracist training and professional development.
  • Collective efficacy necessitates a common language; this language will be used to facilitate discussions around structural racism. Examples of core terms we will define are:

How this goal aligns with SB 5227 and 5194:

  • 5227 - The legislature therefore seeks to ensure that public institutions of higher education provide faculty and staff, as well as students, with training to give them tools to address matters related to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each institution of higher education must: (a) Provide professional development, either existing or new, focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism for faculty and staff. This program must be developed in partnership with the institution's administration, faculty, staff, and student leadership groups.
  • 5194 - Each community and technical college shall conspicuously post on its website and include in the strategic plans, programs, and reports definitions for key terms including: Diversity, equity, inclusion, culturally competent, culturally appropriate, historically marginalized communities, communities of color, low-income communities, and community organizations. These legislative guides are also in keeping with SBCTC’s mission to Lead with Racial Equity.

Mission Fulfillment Plan, Goal Two: Continue implementation of Guided Pathways.

EDI Goal Two: Implement Guided Pathways (GP) with an equity focus to improve student retention and completion for HU students.

EDI Goal Two Expanded: This goal seeks to create, expand, and evaluate campus-wide interventions and supports that will assist students from onboarding to completion and in any transitions in-between. The goal establishes support for both historically underrepresented students and those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This goal builds on the successful strategies already established, such as the 4 Connections and The Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) requirement and seeks to explore new ways to expand on our successes.


  • Support faculty by recommending practices, programs and services to promote retention of BIPOC students
  • Support the Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) program
  • Support Outreach and Recruitment staff as a college to ensure annual planning removes barriers to underrepresented students
  • Support the New Student Orientation (NSO) planning team in creating student-focused activities and education with an EDI focus
  • Support Bias Response Team (BRT) in taking proactive steps to reduce discrimination and exclusion on campus
  • Using student completion data identify specific student populations in need of retention interventions where measurable actions can be achieved.
  • Support Associated Student Government (ASG) and Student Programs

This goal and accompanying strategies contribute to the mission fulfillment plan by:

  • Providing continued support of students throughout their time at LWTech will in turn support implementation of GP throughout every program of study
  • Using GP practices through a lens of equity will bolster the removal of barriers and successful student retention and completion rates, which feeds back into the GP metrics – the two dovetail together with the goal of student success

How this goal aligns with SB 5227 and 5194:

  • 5227 - The legislature finds that developing and maintaining a culture of belonging and support for students, faculty, and staff at institutions of higher education is essential to student success, and that faculty and staff play a key role.
  • 5194 - It is the legislature's intent that successful programs such as guided pathways be implemented at all community and technical colleges with the goal of doubling completion rates (as measured by completion in six years) for students in the next eight years. To accomplish this goal, the legislature intends to achieve full implementation of research-based programs to improve student outcomes, such as guided pathways.

Mission Fulfillment Plan, Goal Three: Position the College as a leader in workforce training for the state's short term and long-term economic recovery.

EDI Goal Three: Attract, develop, and support staff and faculty who are representative of our community.

EDI Goal Three Expanded: To position the college as a leader in Workforce training, our alignment measures will attract, develop, and mentor staff and faculty who are representatives of our community. This places focused attention on our recruitment and retention practices and will draw attention to the ways they impact underrepresented groups. Collaborating with our internal partners of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC) to move this meaningful work throughout the college will be an accountability measure as well as a measure of how we are doing to be inclusive campus wide.


  • Advance employee recruitment strategies with an equity mindset.
  • Advance employee retention strategies with an equity mindset.
  • Ensure competitiveness of LWTech by aligning the college’s workforce with student demographics.
  • Engage with and establish ongoing partnerships with off campus communities of color and other underrepresented groups.

This goal and accompanying strategies contribute to the mission fulfillment plan by:

  • Being intentional in our assessment of who and from where we recruit diverse staff and faculty as a representation of our student body and our community.
  • When reviewing staff and faculty candidate pools, ensure that a diverse body of candidates are represented.
  • This alignment can be measured by retention data on staff and faculty and tied to correlated data with student success.
  • Review our hiring processes with our established Equity Framework.

How this goal aligns with SB 5227 and 5194:

  • 5227 - The legislature intends that each public institution of higher education assess the learning, working, and living environment on campus that students, faculty, and staff experience to better understand the evolving state of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • 5194 - The legislature requires the implementation of a Faculty Diversity program to aid in recruitment and retention of faculty from diverse backgrounds. This must be based on proven practices in diversity hiring processes.

Future Directions

This is a living document that will be regularly reviewed and updated for the purpose of remaining accountable to our students, staff, and faculty. We will continuously engage with our college community to seek out best practices and greater alignment with our mission fulfillment goals as they directly impact the enrollment, success and retention of our students.


The Office of EDI will be actively engaging with the college community to conduct and engage in this work. We will establish a practice of being responsive to the needs of our students. We know that if we reach the most marginalized among us effectively, we all benefit from that reach. We will continuously invite participation and address barriers to success in an open and transparent manner.

[1] EDI Conversations is a confidential place to ask about EDI work: lwtech.sharepoint.com/sites/EDIconversations

[2] LWTech. (2020). Our Story. Mission Fulfillment Plan 2020–2023. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from LWTech.edu/Mission

[3] SBCTC. (2020). Staff Mission & Values. State Board Vision. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from sbctc.edu/about/agency/mission-values

[4] The bill text, as passed, is here: lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/Session Laws/Senate/5227-S2.SL.pdf?q=20220414170954 Additional information on the bill is available here: app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5227&Initiative=false&Year=2021. Both webpages were accessed in April 2022.

[5] The bill text, as passed, is here: lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/Session Laws/Senate/5194-S2.SL.pdf?q=20220414170853 Additional information on the bill is available here: app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5194&Initiative=false&Year=2021. Both webpages were accessed in April 2022.