Diversity at BTC

BTC is committed to promoting and providing a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students. BTC appreciates and honors diversity.

BTC’s Strategic Plan includes the following values and goals:

Values: Create a supportive and inclusive community that results in a high level of student competence, professionalism, and success.

Goals: Create and maintain a welcoming campus that supports diversity, promotes a sense of community, provides an effective work and learning environment, and encourages respect for individuals.

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Virtual Support Lounge

The Multicultural Student Services Directors Council MSSDC is hosting identity-based virtual lounges for students across our colleges. The lounges below are open to all WA college students who identify with the respective identities.


  • Muslim Student Support Lounge
    Mondays 3 - 4 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 342-127-416
    Hosted by Marwa Almusawi, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Green River College

  • Native American / Indigenous Students Lounge
    Mondays, 2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 588-131-020
    Hosted by Chandler Charles, Co-President of the Indigenous Students Alliance

  • Asian American/Asian/Pacific Islander Affinity Group Lounge
    Mondays, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 922-818-980-90
    Hosted by Student Leader Gia Tran and AAPI Student Association (ASA) Employee Advisor Tomoko Okada


  • Students of Color Lounge
    Tuesdays 1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 653-572-749
    Hosted by Christie A. Santos, Associate Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


  • Latinx Womxn's Lounge
    Wednesdays, 11 - 11:45 a.m.
    Zoom ID: 968-431-182
    Hosted by Christie A. Santos, Associate Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

  • Queerantine: LGBTQ Student Lounge
    Wednesdays, 3 - 4 p.m.
    Email Elijah.garrard@seattlecolleges.edu
    Hosted by Elijah Garrard, Student Leadership & Multicultural Programs Advisor


  • Asian American / Pacific Islander Lounge
    Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Email maria.acob-nash@seattlecolleges.edu for Zoom info
    Hosted by Gia Tran, President of the Asian / Asian American & Pacific Islander Student Association

  • Black & African American Student Lounge
    Thursdays, 2 - 2:45 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 691-059-515

    Hosted by Raheem Rakim, President of the Black Student Union


  • Shabbat Shazoom: Jewish Identity Lounge
    Fridays, 1 - 1:45 p.m.
    Zoom ID: 775-511-784
    Hosted by Christie A. Santos, Associate Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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Black Lives Matter

Dear BTC Community Members,

BTC stands with Black people. We recognize and acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, and that Black people have been targeted, brutalized and murdered through systematic racist violence. Trayvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Missouri, Sandra Bland in Texas, Eric Garner in New York, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minnesota and now Rayshard Brooks in Georgia are just the latest names in a long list of names of Black Americans targeted over the past 400 years because of their race.

At BTC we must strive towards the goal that every BTC employee and student has an equal opportunity for success. For this to happen, we also recognize that every BTC employee and student needs to be safe in their identity in our community and psychologically safe in their person in order to achieve their best outcomes. We have work to do to achieve that together.

As BTC’s president, I ask that our campus community come together to rise to the challenge of examining ourselves and our structures for ways that we internalize and perpetuate racist ideas and systems. In addition, we will work to educate ourselves and our campus community in the ways that systemic oppression occurs, from microaggressions to overt racism.

BTC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) is a deliberative governance body that sets the diversity and equity agenda for the college and monitors its progress towards achieving its goals. DEIC also serves in an advocacy capacity to maintain consistency of major college diversity, equity and inclusion processes and procedures for employees and students.

DEIC will be facilitating work with our Black employees and students to address bias, to support Black students in their studies by being aware that they may need flexibility and considerations to complete their course work due to the current violence and protests, and we will keep aware and honor that all students have different needs during this time, and to take extra time to communicate grading options.

Resources available on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page include Identity-Based Virtual Lounges for students across the 34 community and technical colleges; History of JuneteenthGovernor Inslee’s Juneteenth Proclamation; and the Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges Board of Presidents Resolution Denouncing Violence against Black Students, Faculty, Staff and Communities and Resolution Denouncing Anti-Asian Discrimination Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students, Faculty, Staff and Communities.

I recommend reading "White Fragility", by Robin DeAngelo. "So You Want to Talk About Race", by Ijeoma Oluo—a graduate of Western Washington University—is a guide to how we can begin and carry on the conversation about race in America. The Bellingham Racial History Timeline documents the history of racism here in Bellingham.

At BTC we will work to do a better job at standing in solidarity with the Black community.


Kimberly Perry (she, her, hers)
BTC President

History of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free:

History of Juneteenth

The State of Washington Juneteenth Proclamation

Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges Board of Presidents Resolution

Denouncing Violence against Blacks in America In support of Black Students, Faculty, Staff, and Communities

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Tribal Lands Statement

For official college functions, following is a suggested tribal lands acknowledgement, tailored by location, to use on printed materials and in all opening remarks at public events.

In spoken word:

"Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that we are here today within the usual and accustomed lands of the Lummi Nation and of the Nooksack Tribe of the Coast Salish peoples, and the original territory of the Samish Indian Tribe. Please join us in respect and for our indigenous neighbors, whose care and protection of the land and water continues to this day."

On printed materials:

Bellingham Technical College would like to acknowledge that our service area today is within the usual and accustomed lands of the Lhaq’temish or Xwlemi (Lummi) Nation, and of the Noxws’a’?aq (Nooksack) Tribe of the Coast Salish peoples, as well as the original territory of the sʔémǝš (Samish) Indian Tribe. Our respect and gratitude go to our indigenous neighbors, whose care and protection of the land and water continues to this day.

Bellingham: Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Tribe

Anacortes: Samish Indian Nation and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Everett: Tulalip Tribes, the Snohomish, the Stillaguamish Tribe and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe

Kitsap Peninsula: Suquamish Tribe and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Makah Indian Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Skokomish Tribe.

Seattle: Duwamish, Suquamish, Nisqually, Snoqualmie and Muckleshoot tribes

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Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges Board of Presidents Resolution Denouncing Anti-Asian Discrimination Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students, Faculty, Staff, and Communities.

What anti-discrimination laws apply to BTC?

The College complies with all Washington State anti-discrimination laws (RCW 49.60) and the following federal laws relating to equal opportunity:

Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Age Discrimination Act of 1975
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

What is the Washington State SBCTC LGBTQ Campaign?

General Information RTF | PDF
History and Background RTF | PDF
Equity Article

Who to contact regarding non-discrimination, equal opportunity, affirmative action or the ADA policies?

Executive Director of Human Resources, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8354. For Title IX/504 compliance, contact: Vice President of Student Services, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8440.

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How to be an Ally

Being an ally is an individual act and one that is always a process. "Allyship" is never stagnant.

"Allies are people who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns. Allies include men who work to end sexism, white people who work to end racism, heterosexual people who work to end heterosexism, able-bodied people who work to end ableism, and so on. Part of becoming an ally is also recognizing one’s own experience of oppression"

(Anne Bishop on Becoming an Ally)

How do I get started?

Know the Issues

Question: What do you already know about the history of diversity and ally work in your community -- the obstacles, triumphs and current issues?

Answer: Knowing a group's history is important to understanding their positions and being a responsible and aware ally. Read up on the history, look up an organization's web site or stop by their office. Find resources that explain the values and goals guiding a group's efforts toward social justice.

Know Yourself

Question: What has contributed to your interest in working as an ally? What background are you coming from? What is your social location?

Answer: Everyone has his or her own culture and cultures have a history of interaction. Research and reflection will help you to identify where you're coming from in relation to the group of people you are interested in working with. Do some research about the kind of ally this group is seeking. Reflect on what it is you hope to see develop through your efforts of support. Be sure to address the societal and personal rewards of your commitment.

Build Relationships

Question: What is your personal connection to the group you would like to work with? Who do you already know that is a member of this group and who would you like to know? Are these members friends, co-workers or family? What kind of relationship do you have with this group and what kind of relationship would you like to have?

Answer: Finding a connection is the responsibility of the ally—it takes commitment, trust-building and initiative to develop individual connections within the group you wish to support. Understanding the goals of any movement begins with having a personal stake in its success.

(Excerpt from Dufferin Diversity Network)

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LGBTQ+ Resources

BTC is committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students, staff, and community members. There are a number of resources on campus and in the community specifically supporting LGBTQ+ students, staff, and their allies:

LGBTQ+ Terminology and FAQs

Resources for LGBTQ+ terminology and FAQs are being developed. For immediate questions, please contact members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Campus Resources

Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club

This student group meets weekly. LGBTQ+ students, staff, and allies are all welcome! Visit the ASBTC Club page for more information about this and other BTC student organizations

Gender Neutral Restrooms

Gender neutral restrooms are located in several places across campus: Campus Center first floor (next to the coffee shop), Campus Center second floor, and J Building.

LGBTQ Scholarships

Financial Aid is available to students through grants, scholarships, and federal student aid programs. Find more information about general scholarships through the BTC Financial Aid and Workforce Funding departments. For LGBTQ+ specific scholarships, check out the community resources below or meet with a Financial Aid staff at 360.752.8564 who can assist you with the scholarship search.

Preferred Name

BTC recognizes that individuals may have a preferred name that differs from their legal name. If you like your instructor to call you by your preferred name in the classroom instead of your official name on your student record, you can enter your preferred name into myBTC portal on the Profile page. The name you enter as your “Preferred Name” will display to instructors on the class roster. If you have any questions contact Registration at Registration@btc.edu.

Local Community Resources

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