Community Based Learning and Research

Diversity Community Engagement Fellowship

Diversity, Equity, Community Engagement Fellowship

Overview and History 

The Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (DECE) Fellowship is based on the foundation of the Community-Based Learning and Research Faculty and Staff Fellowship peer learning model. The CBLR Fellowship ran for 12 years at UW Bothell, continually morphing and adapting based on faculty and staff feedback. In 2019, the Fellowship shifted towards greater alignment with diversity and equity, encompassing both the values of the UW Bothell’s commitment to inclusion and diversity and community engagement. 2021-22 is the third year for the Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement Fellowship.  

The Fellowship will be co-led by Kara Adams, Director of Community Engagement, and Raissa DeSmet, IAS Associate Teaching Professor. 


The purpose of the Fellowship is to 1) build a language in which diversity, equity, and community engagement are integrated, and 2) increase the amount and quality of Diversity (“D”) and community-engaged learning (“CEL”) course offerings at UW Bothell. 


The Fellowship will ask participants to create a course proposal with D and CEL elements by the end of Spring 2022. The aim is for the course to go through curricular approval process in 2022-23, and be taught in 2023–24. This can be an existing course or new course. The course can also already be classified as D, with the goal of enhancing it to include CEL, or the course can already be a CEL course with the goal of including D components and formally going through the CEL course designation process.

Fellows will be asked to work towards D, and also work beyond minimal D requirements. We don’t expect that every Fellow/course will go through the D and CEL course approval process, as Fellows may learn throughout the Fellowship that their course goals are not a good match for the D or CEL course requirements. We expect 2/3 of the Fellow courses to become D, 2/3 to become CEL, and ½ become both D and CEL. We hope that all Fellows’ courses increase in quality around the depth of diversity, equity, and community engagement components, whether they get classified as D/CEL or not.

Learning Goals 

  • Understand the Diversity, “D,” components to course creation, and the history and critique of “D” courses at UW and within higher education.
  • Understand the new community-engaged learning, “CEL,” course components.
  • Examine personal and institutional failures in addressing Blackness and anti-Blackness in community engagement and disciplinary areas that each Fellow is situated within.
  • Learn from community voices from Black- and Indigenous-led and mission-oriented organizations.
  • Learn from student and faculty experiences teaching and learning within D/CEL courses.
  • Broaden your disciplinary language to encompass an integrated model of diversity, equity, and community engagement.

Proposed Curriculum for 2021-22
NOTE: Remote, hybrid and/or in-person engagement are all options, and will be determined by the group

Fellows will have an opportunity to provide feedback on curriculum structure. Below are) the topics we plan to cover; 1–2 readings will be recommended with each 1–2-hour session, in addition to some action/reflection assignments. We hope to hold  several meetings  at community partner sites.


  • Social Justice and Community Engagement in and after pandemic 
  • D curricular history 
  • CEL Curricular History
  • Inspiration-boosting panel – faculty voices


  • Course design workshop 1 – Fellows share syllabus draft and receive feedback
  • Course design workshop 2
  • Inspiration-boosting panel – community partner voices
  • D tactical curricular components


  • CEL tactical curricular components
  • Course design workshop 3
  • Course design workshop 4
  • Inspiration-boosting panel – student voices

How to Apply - Please email Raissa DeSmet at

In acknowledgment of the high work load faculty and staff are currently experiencing, we want the application process to be as simple as possible. In your email, please include the course title and course description, plan to revise course through the Fellowship, and your goals towards incorporating D and CEL components.

Linked proposals—i.e., two or more faculty/staff members who propose to work on one course are highly encouraged.

Priority deadline to apply:  Friday, October 15, 2021

Final deadline: Friday, October 22, 2021


Applicants will be notified by Friday, October 29. The first fellowship session will occur in November 2021.


Fellows will receive $1000 in spending authority to support the work they have proposed.  Funds can be applied for community partner/collaborator stipends, graduate student intern stipends, course/project expenses (e.g. curricular materials, site rental, transportation costs; course exhibits), research costs (e.g. transcription, software), participation in trainings aimed at developing and incorporating new pedagogies and methods into coursework, conference attendance for learning and/or dissemination of knowledge. 


Applicants associated with all academic and administrative programs are encouraged to apply (classified and professional staff, part-time and full-time faculty). The fellowship program is open to faculty and staff at all stages of development. Former CBLR Fellows are encouraged to apply, and should be explicit in their applications about the deepened focus on diversity and equity in their proposed project and how they will build upon prior work or experience in a subsequent fellowship year.

Requirements and Recognition

Fellows are required to participate in regularly scheduled gatherings throughout the 2021-22 academic year. The goal of these meetings is to create an active learning community where we discuss the development of individual courses, best practices, and strategies to strengthen diversity, equity, and community engagement efforts.

Learning Community and Support

Fellows will join a supportive faculty and staff learning community as they create or extend their diversity, equity, and community-based work. Kara Adams and Raissa DeSmet will provide vision, curriculum, and serve as backbone support for the Fellowship. The Office of CBLR will also provide support for individual Fellow projects.

For more information, contact Raissa DeSmet (