Epiphanies of Equity Founder ChrisTiana ObeySumner Drives Social Equity Initiatives for Organizations Across the Country
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 working conditions.
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).
She has years of experience driving change in disability justice, anti-racism, and systems-level reconstruction for equity and justice. Sumner sat on panels for organizations like the Housing Development Consortium and Seattle Centre RSJI. She is the former co-chair of the Seattle Disabilities Commission and the Seattle Renters Commission. Sumner is also the founder of the Eleanor Elizabeth Movement for Black Empowerment and Liberation.
She is leveraging this experience to help organizations across the country develop better and more effective DEI initiatives, creating more inclusive and thriving workplaces. Sumner has worked with multiple companies both in the private and public sectors.
Her distinctive approach to DEI helped her cement her spot. Sumner believes that for DEI to work, everyone must be on board. DEI is more than policies, programs, or headcounts. For it to be genuinely successful, the entire organization must be on board, says Sumner.
She shows firms why the human factor is important and why training doesn’t 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 Sumner, annual seminars or even quarterly training sessions don’t allow employees to air their concerns. The leaders drive these seminars, and there is very little involvement among team members, which is one of the main reasons she has taken a different approach. Sumner introduces the ‘human factor’. She believes no DEI initiative can work without the commitment of the people within the organization, and she is using this to build her roadmap.
Sumner provides the tools required to implement DEI and bring everyone on board successfully. She guides these discussions with transparency and often hard truths about the realities of creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued.
Sumner is fighting for a society that values DEI without expectations for assimilation and erasure. Through her consulting and education work, she is disrupting the business world. Epiphanies of Equity helps individuals and organizations disrupt 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 share the how and why, as a leader, you should evaluate each stage of daily functioning from physiological to institutional frames.
Sumner explains that this helps you build an engaged and happy team. Since she started Epiphanies of Equity in 2018, she has worked with over 60 companies helping them to create more inclusive work environments. Sumner has given guest lectures on this in different corporations and has lectured at the University of Washington and MIT, among others.