Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative at UWS

Meet the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We excitedly welcome Bola Majekobaje as the director for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This new position leads university efforts to create and promote an accessible, equitable, and inclusive culture at the institution. Majekobaje has over ten years of experience leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at universities in the Pacific Northwest, including her work at Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) where she successfully helped to increase student diversity; build a foundation for DEI; and increase WSUV’s recognition in communities of color.

Prior to beginning her role at UWS, Majekobaje served as executive director for a conservation NGO in the Republic of Palau. Outside of work, Majekobaje enjoys spending time with her family, singing, and creative writing. Bola is passionate about racial justice, being an ally, and building climate resilience in indigenous and island communities.

Bola looks forward to working with members of the UWS community to ensure that all students, staff, and faculty can equitably realize their full potential at UWS.

bola majekobaje
Bola Majekobaje, Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UWS Equity Statement

The mission of University of Western States is:

TO ADVANCE INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE THROUGH EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AND PATIENT CARE.”

To fully realize our mission, we pursue excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Our Culture of Inclusion

We believe in the humanity and inherent value of each person.

We invite each member of our university community to engage as their entire self.

We strive for each person to feel valued and supported.

We cultivate a safe and inclusive environment where all members of our community are empowered to collaboratively teach, learn and work.

We recognize the strengths, weaknesses and challenges in our history, and how our history has affected individuals and communities

We endeavor to expand access for all, especially for individuals and within communities historically excluded from higher education and quality health care.

We celebrate the benefits and opportunities that result from expanded diversity as we prepare students and employees to thrive personally and professionally in an increasingly diverse society.

Our Students and Employees

We deliver student-focused education and training experiences that emphasize cultural humility and cultural competence.

We advance diversity, equity and inclusion in student recruitment, admissions and retention, and in employee selection and promotion.

Our Community

We embrace the multiple dimensions of diversity that each individual contributes to our community. Whole-person health includes the entire person, their lived experiences, and their ways of being.

We engage the members of our community to strengthen local and national partnerships.

We help eliminate health disparities by educating current and future health care professionals, and by providing high quality health care.

Our Foundation

We welcome change as part of the work. Curiosity drives us to explore new possibilities as we move toward diversity and equity.

We prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in the development and implementation of policies, practices and procedures.

We demonstrate accountability by examining and evaluating our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and by exercising continuous improvement practices.

We exemplify respect and professionalism by employing inclusive language and practices in communicating and interacting with others.

DEI Syllabus Statement

The UWS faculty senate and the DEI committee has endorsed the addition of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) syllabus statement to be included in all UWS syllabi. The purpose of the DEI syllabus statement is to communicate that UWS faculty value diversity and are committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive learning environment. Read the statement here.

UWS Land Acknowledgement

UWS recognizes that we are at the beginning of our journey to address our role in the occupation of the land in which the campus exists. As part of this process, campus groups, committees, departments and events have created a land acknowledgement practice. We recognize that this a starting point, not the end, of the university’s commitment to increasing educational access, improving community health, and building partnerships with Native communities.

The following land acknowledgement was developed by the DEI Committee in consultation with a local Native American Historian. Faculty, staff, students and departments are invited to use this acknowledgement, adapt it, or to continue to use and adapt their own. We welcome feedback and critique. We recognize that this acknowledgement will grow and change over time, especially as we build reciprocal relationships with Native and Indigenous leaders, organizations and tribes over time.

UWS Land Acknowledgement, updated 11.18.21

University of Western States (UWS) is located in Portland, Oregon in Multnomah County. We respectfully acknowledge and honor the Indigenous people whose traditional and ancestral homelands we stand on, the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Watlala bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya and many other Indigenous nations of the Columbia River.

Despite attempts of removal and erasure, Indigenous communities, groups and individuals remain a strong and vital part of our region and many regions across and the world. We recognize that this acknowledgement is a small step in affirming the ongoing presence and contributions of Native and Indigenous communities in our region and beyond. We commit to engaging with these communities by expanding access to our university, supporting current and future students and employees, building partnerships with local tribes and Native organizations, and improving access to quality health care.

DEI Action Plan

DEI-actionplan


Looking for DEI events in our area and online? 

Take a look at what’s going on this week and how you can participate.


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.

Mission

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.

Anti-racism

Events

Watch

Podcasts

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

 Books

Portland History

Organizations

Organizations


Other diversity organizations to check out:

Resources

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