Written by Yemas Ly
Piloted this year by the Division of Student Life, the Husky 100 recognizes UW undergraduate and graduate students from the Bothell, Tacoma, and Seattle campuses who represent the best of our fellow Huskies.
Through his leadership and passion in empowering ethnic groups in Seattle, as well as serving nonprofit organizations, Brian Tracey is one of the inaugural Husky 100 making the most of his time at the UW.
Tracey studied marine science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., in his undergraduate schooling, and is currently finishing his master’s degree in marine science education policy at the UW.
“All my life, I was a scientist,” Tracey said. “I always wanted to study sharks. I studied education to expand who I was.”
For many years, Tracey has been dedicated to addressing social justice and cultural competence. He believes it is necessary to bridge the disparities that exist between social groups and is engaged in various positions that allow him to do so, including the executive board for the UW Black Student Union, graduate student executive liaison for both the Provost Advisory Committee of Students and the UW Diversity Council, vice chair of the Diversity Committee of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and the chair of the College of the Environment Diversity Committee.
“My pride in being black, my understanding of how the whole system works, and that I’m unapologetic about it [all contribute to my leadership as a Husky],” Tracey said. “My main focus is to recognize other groups in struggle and help them help themselves. I’m black first, and I’m a student here as well.”
In addition to building cultural awareness, addressing sociocultural issues at the university level, and educating other students about microaggressions, Tracey uses his time at nonprofit organizations like Seattle Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (SMESA) and Social Outreach Seattle.
While he began as a volunteer a few years ago, Tracey is now currently the program coordinator for SMESA, an organization that provides hands-on opportunities in STEM fields to underrepresented minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged youth.
“Working with the youth is always rewarding,” Tracey said. “They have so much energy and passion.”
Tracey’s primary avocational interest is teaching parkour to the general public. Through parkour, he finds gratification in giving people from all identities and backgrounds a chance to explore their bodies, and a chance to reach a potential they never felt possible.
“I’m not giving anybody a voice; I’m a facilitator,” Tracey said. “[People] are more than what they think they are.”
After graduating this year, Tracey hopes to become the director of SMESA within a decade, and plans to open a Jamaican restaurant in his retirement.
“I exemplify the Husky experience through my ability to tell my own story,” Tracey said. “And to help others to tell their own stories as well.”