(CBS Seattle) — University of Washington students staged a walkout Wednesday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Organizers also delivered a list of demands to school officials to help address a lack of on-campus diversity.
Hundreds of students participated in the event that took place on all three University of Washington (UW) campuses, according to KIRO.
On the Seattle campus, students gathered outside of Mary Gates Hall at around 11:30 a.m. and walked across campus to Red Square. During the walk a number of group organizers spoke to the crowd about issues of social injustice, and in particular, issues of racial inequity.
Organizers declared a “state of emergency” in terms of race relations and the lack of student diversity on campus, and delivered a list of demands to school officials.
In a list of demands addressed to the School of Law, students called for a “radical increase” in populations of students of color on campus. The letter notes that while roughly eight percent of the Seattle population is African-American, 3.48 percent of the students at UW are African-American (or, about 1,026 students) — and the UW Law School awarded only two law degrees to African-American students in 2014.
The letter also called for a more diverse faculty, training for staff to discuss issues of racial diversity, the establishment of a community outreach program, and an “Alternative Admissions Program” that would help draw attention to students from non-traditional academic backgrounds.
You can read the rest of the letter here.
“These aren’t things that the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity can achieve in isolation,” Sheila Edwards Lange, vice president of the department, told Imana Gunawan of The Daily.
“It requires the entire campus community to come together, all of the deans, all of the senior leadership.”
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