The Seattle Colleges District is committed to leading Guided Pathways work with racial equity. You can learn more about Guided Pathways efforts across the district by visiting our district Guided Pathways website. Additionally, important definitions of this work are outlined below:

Communities of color

An umbrella term used to refer to people of color often when describing the impacts of systemic racism. 

Community organizations

Coordination and organizing aimed at making improvements to a community, area, or groups social health, well-being, and overall functioning. This takes place in in geographically, socially, culturally, spiritually, and digitally defined communities and spaces.

Culturally appropriate

The understanding of what is suitable given a particular context. Including awareness of norms, symbols, values, etc.

Culturally competent

The continued development to effectively communicate and knowledgeably engage with people across cultures concerning but not limited to social identities. This can include race, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, ability, socio-economic status, and faith, among others.


As an open access institution, Seattle Colleges holds diversity as an ongoing discovery of the intersections of identities and "diversity refers to all of the ways in which people differ, including primary characteristics, such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, mental and physical abilities, and sexual orientation, and secondary characteristics, such as education, income, religion, work experience, language skills, geographic location, and family status. Put simply, diversity refers to all of the characteristics that make individuals different from each other and in its most basic form refers to heterogeneity." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008) 


"Historically, equity refers to the process of creating equivalent outcomes for members of historically underrepresented and oppressed individuals and groups. Equity is about ending systematic discrimination against people based on their identity or background." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008) 

Seattle Colleges leads with racial equity because we acknowledge the history and impact that intergenerational and institutional barriers have had on students of color, who make up 44% of our student body (or nearly 60% of students who identify by race on their applications), while our faculty and staff do not yet reflect these same demographics. 

Historically marginalized communities

"Groups who have been relegated to the lower or peripheral edge of society. Many groups were denied full participation in mainstream cultural, social, political, and economic activities" (Heritage Bulletin, 2018). E. g., People of Color, women, people with disabilities.


This work matters because students and employees thrive where they feel they belong, especially in a climate of political divisiveness. "Inclusion exists when traditionally marginalized individuals and groups feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to participate in majority culture as full and valued members of the community, shaping and redefining that culture in different ways." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008) It is important to note that inclusion, by itself, is not enough. The pursuit of inclusion without discernment of the impact of providing commensurate access to majoritarian actions and practices can actually undermine the original purpose of empowering minoritized communities.

Low-income communities

An area in which 20% of people live below the poverty line or families whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the median family income for the area.