Being an Anti-Racist Organization

June 29, 2023

Dear Friends of the CCE,

Inspired by Seattle University’s Jesuit Catholic ethos and in partnership with many local organizations, the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement (CCE) strives to live and lead as an anti-racist organization. We are committed to anti-racist practices that honor the full humanity of all community members and collaborate across cultures and generations.

People of Color have worked to name, analyze and dismantle racism in the United States for centuries. In the context of our work in Seattle, our community members of Color expand and deepen CCE’s capacity as leaders, and confront unjust practices in our organizations, schools and communities. This commitment is rooted in success for youth, well-being of families and health of the community.

We acknowledge that the work of racial justice is an ongoing, dynamic and collaborative process. When systemic and individual acts of racism and bias occur in our programs and in the community, we look to amplify the words of Seattle University’s Chief Diversity Officer Natasha Martin, J.D., “When circumstances occur that impact the health of our climate or the safety of members of our campus community, we aim to respond wholeheartedly and mindfully.”

We pursue our commitment to living and leading as an anti-racist organization through:

  • Challenging our capacity to think critically about the role race plays in our relationships, programs, organizations and institutions so that we may foster a culture of reflection and accountability that addresses interpersonal and institutional racism.
  • Responsiveness and responsibility to disrupting legacies of injustice and systems of oppression that have led to ongoing gaps in opportunity, health and wealth.
  • Enhancing individual and collective racial equity professional development for CCE staff, student leaders, volunteers and our partners
  • Engaging in bold action to build a more equitable community, placing greater emphasis on partnerships with organizations led by People of Color, and increasing our focus on asset-based approaches to all campus and community partnerships.
  • Discerning wisdom and insights from community members, prioritizing relationships and partnerships with local families, and evaluating our strategic planning, programs, training, recruitment, retention and events through an anti-racist lens.

The construct of whiteness must continue to be something we collectively explore, work on and heal through. Learning how it affects everyone and our own racial identities can guide us to increased awareness of how privilege, power, and dominant culture impact our relationships and work. Despite how good the intentions may be, without a fundamental understanding of institutional and individual racism, we may be complicit in allowing a culture of racism to persist. We must actively reject the “white savior complex”, and instead collaborate in solidarity across racial difference in equitable relationships. The more open discussion of the reality and impact of systemic racism, the better equipped we are to pursue a more just and humane world.

We welcome feedback from our campus and community partners on ways we can better work towards living and leading as an anti-racist organization.


Sundborg Center for Community Engagement (CCE) Staff 

Our Anti-Racist Journey

Resources for Racial Equity