In light of recent social attention on racial justice and equality, DEI has become an important key for organization growth and success. Consumers want to buy from brands that embrace DEI. Job seekers also want to join an organization where they feel seen and appreciated, pushing companies to review their workplace culture.
Many companies want to improve their DEI and create a better work environment where employees and customers feel safe and respected. But they don’t know where to start. This is where ChrisTiana ObeySumner steps in. ChrisTiana is a social equity advocate, consultant, and founder of Epiphanies of Equity (EoE). At Epiphanies of Equity, they use the term “social equity” to encapsulate their vision and mission to find pathways toward a future where society can be truly driven by equity and liberation from current social, cultural, political, and historical barriers.
They have years of experience driving change in disability justice, anti-racism, and systems-level reconstruction for equity and justice. ChrisTiana sat on panels for organizations like the Housing Development Consortium and Seattle Centre RSJI. They are the former co-chair of the Seattle Disabilities Commission and the Seattle Renters Commission. ChrisTiana is also the founder of the Eleanor Elizabeth Movement for Black Empowerment and Liberation.
They are leveraging this experience to help organizations across the country develop better and more effective DEI initiatives, creating more inclusive and thriving workplaces. ChrisTiana has worked with nearly 200 organizations since 2018 – including both national and international companies.
ChrisTiana believes that for DEI to work, everyone must be committed to driving change. DEI is more than policies, programs, or headcounts. For it to be genuinely successful, the entire organization must be on board, says ChrisTiana.
They show firms why the human factor is important and why traditional, one-time training sessions rarely work. The traditional training model is essential for business growth, but it is not enough to drive change, especially if you are working to build a fair and just work environment.
According to ChrisTiana, annual seminars or even quarterly training sessions don’t allow employees to have a genuine voice and to practice key strategies and skills. The leaders drive these seminars, and there is very little involvement among team members, which is one of the main reasons they have taken a different approach – what ChrisTiana calls “the human factor.” They believe no DEI initiative can work without the commitment of the people within the organization, and they are using this to build their roadmap.
ChrisTiana provides the tools required to implement DEI and bring everyone on board successfully. They guide these discussions with transparency and often hard truths about the realities of creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued.
ChrisTiana is fighting for a society that values DEI without expectations for assimilation and erasure. Through their consulting and education work, they are disrupting the business world. Epiphanies of Equity helps individuals and organizations change systemic inequity from the inside out by centering on accountability and integrity. The group provides training and guidance on how to promote workplace equity. They teach leaders to qualitatively evaluate each stage of the process to ensure progress is being made .
Since they started Epiphanies of Equity in 2018, ChrisTiana has worked with nearly 200 companies, helping them to create more inclusive work environments. ChrisTiana has given guest lectures on this in different corporations and has lectured at the University of Washington and MIT, among others. To learn more about their approach to social justice and equity in the workplace, visit www.christianaobeysumner.com.