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Diversity and Equity Resources

Mission Statement of the Department Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee 

The Department of Classics is devoted to fostering an equitable, respectful, inclusive, and supportive environment for all its members--students, staff, and faculty at all levels--regardless of race, gender, sexuality, social class, age, disability, religion, or national origin. We do our best to cultivate a climate of inclusion, be alert to inequities, be sensitive to power dynamics, and foster equity in all aspects of our work.

The department has a long-standing commitment to diversity and equal treatment in recruiting faculty and students for our programs. In recent years we have had students of many different ethnic backgrounds (including Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Native American, among others). Students of non-traditional age and students with disabilities have also been well represented. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and faculty are made welcome and treated with respect--for themselves and their relationships--and are comfortable being out in the department.

Much of our scholarship is concerned with issues of gender, sexuality, and status in the ancient world, with topics ranging from slavery and prostitution to Helen of Troy and ideas of female beauty. The same concerns are reflected in our teaching. We take very seriously our responsibility as stewards of antiquity. We are fully cognizant of the many problematic aspects of that legacy, and strongly committed both to acknowledging those problems and to resisting the unscholarly and unethical appropriation of the ancient world by the so-called "alt-right" and other hate groups.

Our department is integrated into the University's larger community of resources serving the interests of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have strong ties with the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity. The university-wide Graduate and Professional Student Senate has awarded our department its annual Gold Star Award in recognition of its financial, professional, and emotional support for graduate students.

The Department also has substantial and long-term involvement with professional groups fighting for social justice in our field beyond the University of Washington: notably the Women's Classical Caucus, the Lambda Classical Caucus, and the newly formed Classics and Social Justice group. We are especially proud that in 2014 the Department was chosen to receive the first ever Award in Professional Equity from the Women's Classical Caucus.

Though we are proud of this track record we have no wish to rest on our laurels. We are committed not only to sustaining our past efforts, but to improving on them, in acute awareness of ongoing problems that face our discipline (such as the paucity of minority faculty) as well as new challenges (notably the rise of the so-called "alt-right"). It is the mission of the DEI Committee, in collaboration with the Chair, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and various Department committees, to maintain a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work. The committee also serves as a confidential resource for students, staff, and faculty regarding such issues. Anyone with concerns or questions is encouraged to contact one or more members of the committee.

Department DEI Committee Members

Classics Faculty Adjunct in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS)

  • Prof. Emerita Ruby Blondell
  • Prof. Catherine Connors
  • Prof. Deborah Kamen

Diversity (DIV) Courses in the Department of Classics

The University requires all undergraduates to take a minimum of 3 credits, approved by the appropriate school or college, that focus on the sociocultural, political, and/or economic diversity of the human experience at local, regional, or global levels. This requirement is intended to help you develop an understanding of the complexities of living in increasingly diverse and interconnected societies. Courses that fulfill the diversity requirement focus on cross-cultural analysis and communication; and historical and contemporary inequities such as those associated with race, ethnicity, class, sex and gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, religion, creed, age, and socioeconomic status. Course activities should encourage thinking critically about topics such as power, inequality, marginality, and social movements, and support effective cross-cultural communication skills.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

General diversity, equity, and inclusion resources

Diversity at the University of Washington: The University of Washington’s main diversity website

Recommended Reads for Equity: Recommendations for books about diversity, equity, and inclusion, curated by the UW Libraries

Anti-Racism resources

UW's List of Anti-Racism Resources: Provided by UW's Race & Equity Initiative

Classics Department's List of Anti-Racism Resources: Compiled by Anna Simas (PhD '20)

Minority affairs resources

Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity: Works to increase diversity on campus and enrich the experiences of students, faculty, and staff

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center: An inclusive space designed to foster academic and personal success

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA): Oversees and manages the University’s affirmative action program

Immigration resources

Leadership Without Borders: Resources for undocumented students

International Student Services Office: Visa and immigration advising for international students on F or J student visas

Disability resources

The D Center: UW’s Disabled and D/deaf cultural center

Disability Resources for Students: Resources for setting up access and accommodations at UW

CripAntiquity: Resources for neurodiverse and disabled students and teachers of the ancient world

A Brief Guide to Disability Terminology and Theory in Ancient World Studies

Gender and sexuality resources

Title IX at UW: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Our interim Title IX coordinator is Valery Richardson,, 206-616-9713

Education and outreach: Online and in-person training for preventing sex discrimination and sexual harassment, and responding to those affected by sexual misconduct

Survivor Support & AdvocacyHealth & Wellness offers confidential advocacy and support for students impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment and other related experiences.

Q Center: A student-run LGBTQ center for UW students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members Resources on personal pronouns (what they mean and why they matter)

Mental health resources

Counseling Center: Resources for students seeking help in coping with stress or other mental health concerns

Let’s Talk: Free, confidential, informal drop-in counseling service at UW

Economic resources

Sportula: Provides microgrants (petty cash of $5-$300) to economically marginalized undergraduates in Classics

UW Campus Food Pantry: Provides UW students, staff, and faculty with nonperishable groceries and select fresh produce for no cost

Teaching resources

Diotíma: Resources for the study and teaching of women and gender in antiquity

Classics at the Intersections: Rebecca Futo Kennedy’s blog includes syllabi for teaching race, ethnicity, immigration, and marginality in antiquity

From Abortion to Pederasty: Addressing Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom: The essays from Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz and Fiona McHardy’s edited volume (2014)--on teaching sexuality, rape, violence, and other difficult topics--can be downloaded here

Teaching Rape Texts in Classical Literature: A useful article by UW Classics PhD alumna Yurie Hong on talking about rape in the Classics classroom

Reporting violence

Bias Incident Advisory Committee: How to report bias incidents

Safe Campus: How to report violence or threats to the safety of yourself or others. NB: Faculty and TAs at UW must report to the authorities any reports or evidence of sexual violence they encounter; one way to do so is through Safe Campus.

Resolving conflicts

Office of the Ombud: A collaborative and confidential environment to discuss your situation, consider options, and develop a plan for the future

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO): Investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University’s non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies