Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training

"A Path Toward Equity: Disrupting Structural Racism through Awareness and Belonging" is Washington's foundational learning experience for growing the state workforce's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) competence.

Training requirement

As defined by OFM State Human Resources directive 23-01, “A Path Toward Equity” is required training for Washington state agency employees.

This training is part of statewide culture change efforts to ensure government systems serve Washingtonians with equity and justice. Visit Workforce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (OFM) and Office of Equity websites for more information on statewide DEI efforts.


The DEI training focuses on foundational concepts. Starting with race, "A Path Toward Equity" will allow all employees to gain awareness of racial inequalities and their effects. This foundational training is focused on the emerging level of DEI competency, providing shared language as well as awareness of how racial inequities show up in every system and workplace in Washington.

The training includes the following:

  • "Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” documentary (2 hours)
  • Pre-assessment (optional)
  • Four instructor-led modules facilitated via Zoom (8.5 hours)
  • Post-assessment (optional)


The documentary is available with audio descriptions. Agency training managers may request accommodations from the Learning Center helpdesk at DESITSupport4U@des.wa.gov.

Instructor-led modules

  1. Racism as a Foundation
    Race and racism are difficult concepts. Racism as a Foundation will offer learners foundational definitions of racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Through facilitated conversation, group engagement, and introspective activities, the learner will be able to demonstrate their ability to understand and differentiate between these often misunderstood and misused terms.

  2. Racism as a Structure
    Racism as a Structure will teach learners the structural components of racism: cultural, institutional, and individual. The learner will engage with these components to better understand the pervasiveness of structural racism as well as understanding common ideological barriers to challenge this structure: colorblindness and meritocracy.

  3. Feeling Like an Outsider: The Cost of Being Othered
    This module will introduce the learners to the concept of othering. By examining the lived experience of an individual being othered, the course will explore origins of othering behavior and the negative impacts othering has on all groups.

  4. Belonging: Moving from Them to Us
    Belonging: Moving from Them to Us will allow the learner to move from the performative actions of inclusion to the transformational process of belonging. Using psychological theory and innovative interventions, learners will be able to understand how belonging uncertainty leads to the maintenance of traditional othering. Learners will gain strategies to foster belonging in all of state government.


Employees will be prompted to take the training when they are assigned to the training. When employees are assigned to the training, they will receive an email notification.

  • Employees need to complete the documentary and they will be assigned to the instructor-led modules.
  • The employee will be notified to register for Module 1 and select a class day/time.
  • Employees can select the next module after the instructor records their attendance.
  • Employees will receive notifications of the next step when completions are granted. Notifications happen overnight.

Employees should direct questions about this training or any other required training to their supervisor or agency training manager.

HR, training managers, and Learning Center administrators

To support agencies in rolling out this training, we have developed an audience-based approach to assign the training. Audiences are groups of learners (employees) set in the Washington State Learning Center by agency Learning Center administrators. This approach allows agencies to manage who takes the training and when.

To create audiences and assign them to training:

Develop a rollout plan for your agency

Agencies determine which employees will take the training and when.

Set up audiences in the Learning Center

HR and training managers, please work with your Learning Center administrator to set audiences for your agency for this training. Technical support is available:

Request assignment of your audiences to the training

Once your audiences are established in the Learning Center, DES can assign your audiences to the documentary and/or instructor-led training. Any time your agency Learning Center administrator adds an additional audience, they can request assignment using a ZenDesk ticket.

Training managers, HR managers, and Learning Center administrators with questions about the training can contact the DES DEI Training team.

More information

State employees should direct questions about this training or other required training to their supervisor or agency training manager.

Training managers with questions should contact the DES DEI Training team.

Executive orders and directives

DES is partnering closely with the Office of Equity and the Office of Financial Management. The purpose of the foundational training is to foster a pro-equity, anti-racist state government, in alignment with the Governor’s Executive Order 22-02, the SHR directive 23-01, and the Office of Equity’s strategic plan.

Supporting documents

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DES DEI Training