Update on Supplier Diversification Program

Posted: October 3, 2022

Dear Campus Community, 

We are proud to share an update about the new Supplier Diversification Program at Seattle University. Seattle University is committed to increasing the diversity of its suppliers to move toward a more sustainable, inclusive local economy. Together we can build the strength and breadth of diverse local businesses, increase equity, and create a more resilient and integrated community.  

As a part of Reigniting Our Strategic Directions Goal 4: Promote Inclusive Excellence, a working group led by Amelia Marckworth, Albers School of Business and Economics, in collaboration with Tony Goodwillie, Director of Procurement, and Kent Koth, Executive Director of the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement, has been working closely with unit leaders from across campus to increase purchasing with diverse vendors. 

In Fall 2021, 100% of our campus unit leaders took the Diverse Purchasing Pledge, promising to intentionally increase their procurement spending with diverse businesses. With that pledge alone, University procurement spending with diverse businesses in FY2022 increased to almost double our FY2021 amount. 

In addition to the Diverse Purchasing Pledge, the University has now officially adopted the Policy on Supplier Diversity. This policy codifies the University’s dedication to inclusion, equity, and justice through its collective purchasing power. Seattle University’s Procurement Policy was also updated to reflect the Policy on Supplier Diversity’s framework.  

We are also proud to share a new partnership with Boon Boona Coffee, a local and Black-owned business, which has opened an on-campus café at The Sidebar in Sullivan Hall. Boon Boona’s owner, Efrem Fesaha, was named the Washington Small Business Owner of the Year by the US Small Business Administration and is a previous student at Seattle University. Additionally, to help our community members connect with local diverse businesses, a Seattle University Intentionalist site was launched.  

To learn more about the Supplier Diversification Program, visit this page. Resources to help campus purchasers spend with diverse vendors are available here. Finally, we are holding two Strategic Conversations to answer questions and share updates about this policy and program:  

  • Strategic Conversation #1: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm, via Zoom.  
  • Strategic Conversation #2: Tuesday, November 1, 2022, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, via Zoom. 

*If you cannot attend either of these conversations, they will be recorded and shared.  

We are proud to be one of the few private universities in the Northwest to undertake a supplier diversity program. The program leaders will share our findings with peer universities and anchor institutions and create a model that can be replicated broadly through partnerships with Washington Employers for Racial Equity (WERE) and procurement directors at other institutions. 

We will continue to share updates on the impact of the Supplier Diversification Program with our campus community. If you have questions about the program, please contact Amelia Marckworth at marckwor@seattleu.edu.  


Eduardo M. Peñalver, President  
Natasha Martin, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion