Community & Equity Certificate

The Community & Equity Certificate lays the groundwork for a challenging, personal journey for individuals who are committed to creating equitable and inclusive environments. Through the certificate program, faculty and staff will expand their understanding of equity-mindedness and build a toolkit for engaging more effectively with students, colleagues, and community partners.

  • Certificate Requirements

    Faculty and staff must complete seven workshops across four topic areas to earn the certificate.

    • Building a Foundation offers an overview of equity at a land-grant institution.
    • Allyship gives participants tangible tools for being an ally to a specific marginalized community.
    • Skill Building focuses on skills for creating more equitable workplaces.
    • Building Community Together lets participants discuss issues of equity.

    Participants may complete the workshops in any order, although Equity 102 and 103 have prerequisites. You may complete workshops from other topic areas before you complete the Building a Foundation series.

  • Current Offerings

    You can view the full Community & Equity Certificate catalog and see which courses are open for registration on the Human Resource Services website. Due to high demand for certain courses, you may be placed on a waitlist. If you are waitlisted, we encourage you to browse the current course offerings and register for additional courses of interest to you.

    Please note that workshops completed prior to Fall 2020 still count toward the certificate.

  • Get Involved

    We regularly add new courses to the Community & Equity Certificate catalog. The equity leadership collective sends out calls for additional workshops each spring, and all faculty and staff are encouraged to submit proposals. Proposed trainings should fall under the skill development or community building topic areas and include an overview of the training, the objectives, and the target audience.

    Faculty and staff can also volunteer to become trainers for the Equity series. Prospective trainers should work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space; possess training and facilitation skills; and commit to co-facilitating five workshops each year.

    If you have questions about the certificate, submitting a proposal, or volunteering to lead a workshop, contact Allen Sutton, executive director of the Office of Outreach and Education, at 509-335-2517 or

  • Certificate History

    Support for equity, inclusion, and social justice-related professional development for faculty and staff has increased in recent years, including appeals from students for this programming. The Community & Equity Certificate sprang from a 2018 request from students that the institution require equity and cultural competency training for faculty and staff who engage with students.

    As a result of that request, former Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales created the Cultural Competency and Ally Training Working Group and tasked it with building equity and cultural competency programming. The group, which included staff, faculty, and students from all campuses, sent out a call in 2018 for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice workshops. The input the group received from that cross-campus call became the building blocks of the Community & Equity Certificate.

    To create the certificate, the working group formed an equity leadership collective whose members’ daily work focuses on forwarding equity and inclusion initiatives for WSU. The collective developed a set of three foundational workshops – Equity 101, 102, and 103 – that comprise the core of the Community & Equity Certificate. The immediate success of the Equity series led the collective to add more courses to the certificate over time, resulting in our current robust catalog of workshops.

    The certificate workshops aren’t just popular with faculty and staff – they also reflect WSU’s commitment to creating more equitable campuses. The value the university places on this education is reflected in one of the 2020-25 Strategic Plan core beliefs: achieving an ethically and socially just society for all. These efforts also play an important role in fulfilling metric 11 of WSU's Drive to 25, which calls for establishing a welcoming and inclusive environment on all campuses.

    We recognize that becoming a culturally responsive and committed institution does not happen overnight – these efforts must continually be shepherded by dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators. The certificate provides tools that will help individuals and the institution sustain this work for years to come, and it ensures that individuals who actively engage in equity education and practices are recognized and celebrated.