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Commitment to Anti-Racism

The UW Genetic Counseling Graduate Program is committed to identifying, dismantling and replacing racist behaviors, systems and policies within ourselves and our program. We recognize that racism is institutionalized in the United States, including in health care and in higher education. We are committed to making the UW Genetic Counseling Graduate Program a place where students, faculty, staff and fieldwork supervisors who are Black, Indigenous or people of color are welcomed, feel comfortable and can advance and thrive.

We know these statements of commitment are meaningless unless they’re backed by action. We are striving for transparency and accountability in this anti-racism work, so below are some specific things we have done, are doing and will do.

  • We’ve removed the GRE as a requirement for admission because of its racial and gender biases.
  • We’re reviewing our entire admissions process — the application, how applications are reviewed and by whom, interviews, the match process — through the lens of anti-racism. 
  • We’re exploring ways to actively recruit students who are Black, Indigenous or people of color, in part through the UW Health Professions Recruitment Collaborative.
  • We’re focusing on diversifying our faculty, guest lecturers and staff, including promoting job postings through the Minority Genetic Professionals Network.
  • We’ve formed a Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (DARE) Committee for our program.
  • Our program leadership team, admissions committee and instructors will participate in a two-day Undoing Institutional Racism workshop conducted by The People’s Institute Northwest. Our curriculum includes the same workshop for all students during their first quarter.

We acknowledge that we currently have an all-white program leadership team. As white people, we are committed to educating ourselves and to doing the anti-racism work, both as individuals and as professionals. We realize that to make true progress we must actively listen to and take direction from Black, Indigenous and people of color, and then act.

We invite all people interested in our program, and especially those who are BIPOC, to engage with us. We encourage you to contact Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser (advisory board member, DARE Committee member and laboratory genetics instructor) at whitneyn@uw.edu or 206-598-8684. Or you can use this form to share your thoughts anonymously. Our leadership team discusses all input weekly, and it will shape our work and our program.