Equity and Inclusion | Cascadia College

Equity and Inclusion

At a time when access and inclusion are not equal, we work to provide programs, services, and pathways that lead to success for historically underserved students while also fostering learning opportunities for allies.


Equity and Inclusion

Guiding Principles

We have established policies to guide our E&I work. Our team also strives to promote these policies and values to our college community through events, publications, and listening tours.
  • Policies
  • Inclusive Campus Pledge
  • DEI Strategic Plan
  • Campus Climate Assessment Plan
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Students examining the posted flyers.

E&I Office

Chari Davenport - VP for Equity and Inclusion

Chari Davenport - VP for Equity and Inclusion

Chari Davenport holds a Master of Science in Journalism and Technical Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. Chari’s background in equity and inclusion began in college, and over the years she has demonstrated her commitment to social justice both personally and professionally. "I trace my current commitment to, competence in, and validation of issues of equity to my youth." Throughout her journey she worked in Public Information for PBS, served as the Writing Coach for the Ronald McNair Scholars Program, and Public Relations Coordinator for the Jacob Lawrence Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Art before entering academia.

Beginning in 2003, Chari served as humanities faculty, earning several awards for teaching excellence and serving as advisor to the student newspaper prior to joining Cascadia’s executive leadership team. Chari has shown her strong commitment to equity and inclusion through her many service opportunities at Cascadia. This service includes coordinating and facilitating the Foundations of E&I course, which reaches faculty and staff within the Cascadia community. The course covers the elements of equity and inclusion and lays the foundation for further learning.

Chari will represent Cascadia as a member of Eastside Leadership, a premier personal and professional community leadership development experience. As the Executive Director, she works with students, faculty, and staff, area school districts, and various community partners to support Cascadia’s mission to equity and inclusion. Chari is the Chair of the E&I Council and serves on several committees that support the goals and mission of Cascadia College.

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Ana Nina- Director of Equity & Inclusion Programs

Ana Nina- Director of Equity & Inclusion Programs

Ana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has made Seattle her home. Ana’s commitment to equity and social justice began with her law studies in Rio, assisting communities impacted by environmental pollution. She has taught and practiced public interest law in the United States and Brazil, working with clients facing multiple barriers to accessing justice. Ana holds a PhD from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a LLM from Harvard Law School.

In her trajectory, Ana has combined a passion for education and learning with advocating for the most vulnerable. Her experience as an immigrant mother of children who did not speak English taught her the value of cultivating safe spaces where her family could feel included and valued. Ana is very excited to work with the Cascadia community to nurture environments where all belong.

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Alia Mahdi - Executive Assistant

Alia Mahdi - Executive Assistant

Alia Mahdi graduated from the University of Washington, Bothell with a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies in 2021. She also completed a graduate degree in Folklore Studies from the University of Khartoum 2013.

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Name and Position

Name and Position

Lorum Ispum

Lorum Ispum

Lorum Ispum

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Cascadia College values the rich diversity of our students, staff, and faculty and strives to meaningfully include all of the campus community in collectively building a college rooted in diversity, equity, and social justice.

These definitions provide a broad overview of E&I terms that most will come across. They are not the only definitions that can be found; rather they are ones that align with Cascadia's approach to this work. They allow our campus community to form a common language around E&I. Further exploration of and dialogue about these definitions is encouraged to expand understanding and to bring in other wisdom, ideas, and perspectives.


Individual differences (personality, ideas, communication style, learning style, way of dress, life experiences, etc.) and group/social differences (race/ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, religion, political affiliation, other affiliations). Refers not only to dimensions of individual and group/social difference, but also the intentional efforts and conscious practices to appreciate difference, prevent discrimination, and ensure representation at all levels organizational leadership and decision-making.


Access to the resources, networks, education, opportunities, conditions, and support each individual needs to survive/succeed based on their goals. Supporting each person in reaching their full potential while also recognizing each person needs something different to do so. Recognizing and seeking to dismantle systems of oppression that keep people or groups from being included, achieving outcomes, and reaching their full potential.


The action or state of being included within a group or structure with authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging. Inclusion is active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in curriculum, policies, procedures, project development, teamwork, etc. Inclusion notices individual and groups not represented within a system, process, etc. and seeks to increase representation and connect people in ways that increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding.

Cultural Competence

A process of learning about, interacting with, appreciating, understanding, and knowing how to support people from other cultures, thereby broadening the ability to participate in a multicultural community effectively and respectfully. Cultural competence is essential in doing less harm to marginalized groups, to support those around us, and to make progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Culturally Appropriate

Interacting with, engaging, and affirming individuals and communities in an inclusive, kind, respectful, and sensitive manner. Breaking down barriers and intentionally seeking to relate better with people and build supportive and mutually beneficial relationships and connections. Being culturally appropriate comes with increased cultural competence and exposure to diverse individuals and communities.

Historically Marginalized Communities

To be marginalized is the process of becoming or being made marginal within a larger group setting, with the effect of making a group or class of people less important or relegated to a secondary position. Marginalization is an experience of groups who are excluded from or denied political, economic, and social inclusion or equity in society, and hence, relegated to its margins. It can also refer to an individual who is rendered voiceless or irrelevant. Historically marginalized communities are those communities that have repeatedly and consistently experienced marginalization throughout history.

Communities of Color

The acronym BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) is used at Cascadia College rather than communities of color or POC (people of color). This is because not all communities and people of color in the United States face the same levels of injustice. BIPOC is used to highlight that Indigenous and Black or African American people have unique relationships to whiteness compared to other people of color in the United States. They face the worst consequences of systemic white supremacy and settler colonialism, and their challenges and opportunities deserve recognition.

Low-Income Communities

This is a formal term with definitions and those who meet the definition determined by the U.S. Census and other Federal government agencies. Cascadia College aims to contextualize low-income communities by viewing systems through the lenses of power, privilege, and oppression because low-income communities do not exist without those forces at play. With an understanding of power, privilege, and oppression communities can work collaboratively to dismantle oppression, redistribute power, and use privilege for social change.

Community Organization

An organization with a mission and vision of making desired improvements to a community through the ideas, goals, and solutions of those the organization is aiming to positively impact.

 Conversation Agreements

Show up for each other with shared intent – Engage with sincerity, humility, and curiosity; listen deeply and seek to lift each other up on the journey

Use I statements – Speak only for yourself and not on the behalf of a collective

Hold space for growth – Each person represents a different life experience and point of entry; questions are welcome and received with support and encouragement

WAIT (Why Am I Talking) – If you are used to having your voice heard, listen instead of talking

WANT (Why Am I Not Talking) – If you are not used to having your voice heard, give it a try

Maintain cooperative space vs competitive space – Seek to be humble and to understand rather than trying to prove yourself

Remember, we are on the same team, the team striving toward equity – Please work with us toward our shared vision; we are here to further your cause

Expect and accept non-closure – This work will never be done fast enough or perfect enough; there will be loose ends that get tidied later

Maintain confidentiality by not sharing, talking about, or otherwise relaying people’s information or stories with others

Honor shared governance – Ideas and requests made during the Town Hall will go through the usual processes of shared governance, this is to ensure that the ideas and requests align with Cascadia values and meet the needs of the community

To meet with Chari Davenport

To visit the Diversity & Equity Center

  • Stop by CC1-002
  • You may also contact Ana Nina, Director of E&I Programs at anina@cascadia.edu