Our Community

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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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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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) is a cross-constituency group that provides policy direction and recommendations to the College Assembly. DEIC is a deliberative body that sets the diversity and equity agenda for the college and monitors its progress toward achieving its goals. DEIC also serves as an operation committee, serving in a communication and advocacy capacity to maintain consistency of major college diversity, equity, and inclusion processes and procedures. DEIC will develop, implement, and assess/evaluate a diversity strategic plan informed by the BTC Strategic Plan, designed to promote and protect diversity, equity, and inclusion at BTC.

DEIC submits formal policy recommendations to the College Assembly. The College Assembly is responsible for accepting, amending, or rejecting the recommendation. In the event the recommendation is substantively amended or rejected, the College Assembly will provide their response in writing one week prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the College Assembly.

DEIC Meetings

DEIC meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. All college community members are welcome to attend the DEIC meetings as observers. The meetings will be scheduled and held in a campus venue that allows for multiple visitors to attend and be seated. Contact the DEIC Chair, Mary Gerard, by phone at 360.752.8576 or by email at moliver@btc.edu for more information. For events and other activities related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion please check out BTC's Student Life.

Committee Members

Malcolm Oliver, Standing Member, Director of Multicultural and Student Support Services

Elected Members:

  • Camille Gatza, Administrative Representative, Human Resources
  • Dean Fulton, Administrative Representative Alternate, Foundation
  • Alyssa Jones, BEST Representative, Accessibility Resources
  • Melissa Mejia, BEST Representative, Registration
  • Brian Green, Exempt Staff Representative, IMPACT
  • Mary Gerard, Exempt Staff Representative, Accessibility Resources
  • Matthew Santos, Exempt Staff Representative, Student Life
  • Brad Willbrandt, Faculty Representative, Electrician
  • Caren Kongshaug, Faculty Adjunct Representative, Humanities
  • Jan Richards, Faculty Gen Ed Representative, English
  • Diana Davidson, Faculty Alternate, Nursing
  • Jill Burns, Faculty Adjunct Alternate, Humanities
  • Lauren Hatch, Faculty Adjunct Alternate, Humanities
  • Chris Sanders, Student Representative, Computer Software Support
  • Antonio Coniglio, Teamster Representative, Facilities

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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:

What is the Washington State SBCTC LGBTQ Campaign?

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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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?

(Excerpt from Dufferin Diversity Network)

    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.

Notes on Educating Allies

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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 coffeeshop), 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