Diversity and Inclusion Initiative at UWS

UWS Stands in Solidarity

We express our extreme sadness and outrage over the many acts of violence and racial injustices that have plagued our country. Our hearts grow heavier as we recall the names of friends, family, neighbors and community members whose lives have been cut short by racial violence. We try to fathom the immense heartbreak and despair that their families are enduring, as we commit to the dedication of justice for all.

As a university dedicated to improving the health and well-being of society, we have an obligation to engage in an honest evaluation of where we are, to plan for where we want to be, and to take action to create a just and equitable world.

This is a time when we must not only reaffirm our university core values of inclusiveness and equity—we must also take constructive actions to validate our commitment to embracing people from all backgrounds, beliefs, lifestyles and races. We stand united in our solemn support of our black students, our black patients, and our black alumni and friends. We affirm our ongoing commitment to the work of educating for justice.

We must speak out against this hatred and bias, the gross injustices, and the structural racism that have plagued our society for far too long. We all have a duty to call for profound change, to end this systemic discrimination, and to create a community of inclusion and safety for everyone.

This is both an intellectual and a moral calling. As members of the UWS community, we urge everyone to join in making these changes a reality. It will take our collective steadfast commitment, directed effort and invested time. It is often uncomfortable to confront the ugliness of racism and bias. There is not an easy way to make this cultural shift, and it is our responsibility to make it happen—on our campus, and in the world.

We stand in solidarity with our black students and all people of color in the UWS community and around the world. We invite you to stand with us.

In early 2018, University of Western States formed an equity task force with faculty, staff and students. Read more about it here.


University of Western States strives to create a culture of inclusivity that embraces and celebrates the diversity of its faculty, staff and students. Through this, UWS is committed to building a community that reflects the diversity our students will encounter in their professional lives. UWS values a learning environment in which students and employees are empowered through multicultural perspectives that lead to a culturally competent health care workforce, and where employees feel valued and enriched through their differences. UWS is committed to recruiting and retaining employees and students from demographics that are underrepresented in both higher education and health care settings by creating and promoting a welcoming environment that fosters inclusiveness and equal opportunity for all.

If you’re inspired to support these efforts at UWS, consider a contribution to the Diversity and Inclusion fund.

Diversity Statement from the President

At University of Western States, the promise of our motto— “for the good of the patient” —is available to everyone. Good health, quality of life and overall well-being are accessible to all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender identity or expression, disability, age, veteran status or financial background.

As health care providers, educators and students, we share a duty to promote cultural competence in healthcare education, to expand access for integrated health care services, and to increase educational and professional development opportunities for students from diverse and underserved communities.

The university mission, to advance the science and art of integrated health care, honors the contributions of all people. The UWS community welcomes a full spectrum of experiences and worldviews, invites open and respectful exchanges of beliefs and ideas, and cultivates unrestricted opportunities for innovation, creativity and synthesis. It is this spirit of exploration, curiosity and inquiry that stimulates new discoveries and novel insights, generates fresh understandings, and energizes the quest for wisdom—all for the good of the patient.

December is…

December 1: World AIDS Day – Commemorating those who have passed of AIDS and to acknowledge the need for continued commitment to those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Learn more.

December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons – A day for raising awareness to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and access to equal opportunities. Learn more.

December 10: International Human Rights Day – Established in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more about the diverse committee of women who shaped the human rights declaration.

December 10-18: Hanukkah – Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. Learn more about the tradition and significance of the holiday.

December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Religious holiday in Mexico. Learn more about the tradition and significance of the holiday.

December 13: St. Lucia’s Day – Religious festival of light in Scandinavia and Italy. Learn more about the tradition and significance of the holiday.

December 16-24: Las Posadas – Nine-day religious celebration in Mexico. The days are marked with celebrations with music, food and piñatas. Looking for a local Portland business to support?

December 25: Christmas Day – Learn more about the tradition and significance of the holiday.

December 26: Boxing Day – Celebrated in Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa. Learn more about the and significance of the holiday.

December 26 – January 1: Kwanzaa holiday – Learn more about the tradition and significance of the holiday – here and here.





  • Seeing White 
  • NPR Code Switch
  • Pod Save the People
  • The Daily – 1619
  • Dope Black Dads
  • About Race
  • It’s Been a Minute


Portland History


University Services


Other diversity organizations to check out:


Resources for allies:
– Free Films and Documentaries – https://bit.ly/3fMhviN
– Books, Films, and Podcasts About Race – https://n.pr/2ARtvR7
– Black Podcasters – https://bit.ly/2YfSYfM
– History of Racism in Oregon ft. Walidah Imarisha – https://bit.ly/3dhSdr0

Diversity in Education and Health Care

University Diversity Information