Diversity Poster Contest

For the first time in Diversity Poster Contest history, University Residences is proud to crown two grand prize winners!

"Due to the large quantity of strong and powerful entries to the 2019 Diversity Poster Contest, University Residences has agreed to feature two grand prize winners for the annual contest," Christian Urcia, Diversity Poster Contest Co-Chair.

Congratulations to the 2019 Diversity Poster Contest winners Leah Kerbs (Growing Together) and Ariana Ernotte (Diversity in Bloom).

2019 Winners

"Growing Together"

Leah Kerbs

Leah standing next to easel featuring Diversity Poster

"Diversity in Bloom" 

Ariana Ernotte

Arianna smiling behind easel featuring Diversity Poster


University Residences offers Western students an opportunity to visually display how diversity impacts their lives. The winner's design is published each year by the department and shared with the entire WWU Community.

Posters must promote an understanding of diversity within the Western Washington University community. Submissions work to develop and promote respect for the dignity of all people and help students gain awareness and appreciation for diversity.

Note: All submissions described as offensive, harassing, or targeting of any specific group will not be tolerated.

2019 Theme

Diversity: Not Just a Theme

This year's theme 'Diversity: Not Just a Theme' is inspired by the idea that diversity cannot be boiled down to one thing. Unity and diversity at WWU is more than just a once-a-year occurrence, but something we live for and celebrate every day. Diversity is more than just a theme, it is real, it is felt, it is the here and now.


  • Two 2019 Grand Prize Winners: $400 gift certificate to the WWU Bookstore
  • Second Runner Up: $150 gift certificate to the WWU Bookstore

Submission Guidelines

All posters should be submitted in person at the Residence Life Office (EH 113) and electronically to ResLife@wwu.edu.

Poster Requirements

  • Poster submissions must be 11” wide x 15.5” high (portrait setting)
  • All submissions must include the theme title ”Diversity: Not Just a Theme.”
  • Digital creations must be exported as a PNG, EPS, or PDF with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi
  • Paper, canvas, or collage posters must be scanned or photographed with the highest resolution possible and saved as a JPG or TIF

Artist's Statement

The statement of your poster must answer the following questions and should be no longer than one page double-spaced:

  • What is the title of your design?
  • Why did you, as an artist, submit a poster in the Diversity Poster Contest?
  • Why did you create this design for your poster?
  • How is your poster design representative of this year's theme?
  • How does your poster promote respect for others?
  • How does it support students' increased awareness and appreciation of diversity?
  • How does your poster start a dialogue about diversity with the Western Community?

Contest Timeline

  • Students must submit their artwork prior to 5 p.m. Monday, May 13.
  • Western votes for their favorite poster online from Thursday, May 16 – 23.
  • Winner will be announced Saturday June 1.
  • University Residences publishes the poster and distributes across campus in fall quarter.

History and Philosophy

Since 1997, University Residences has supported the Diversity Poster Contest. The event provides students the chance to artistically express what diversity means to them. Future and current students can see the diversity posters as visual representations of University Residences' commitment to a diverse and inclusive community.

Diversity Poster Committee

Each year the Diversity Poster Committee chooses a theme based on campus climate, the needs of Western Washington University, and dialogues about the purpose of diversity on campus.

The annual theme is guided by the Courageous Conversation Compass outlined in Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton’s “Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools.”

In addition to the Courageous Conversation Compass, the committee follows these four agreements:

  • Stay engaged
  • Speak your truth
  • Experience discomfort
  • Expect and accept non-closure.

Committee members gain important leadership skills through their participation. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to serve on the annual committee.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, contact the Residence Life Office at ResLife@wwu.edu or at 360-650-2960.

Ordering a Poster

Information on how to order a poster coming soon!