Honorable Mention: Christiana ObeySumner


Hi! My name is ChrisTiana ObeySumner. I am CEO and principal consultant of Epiphanies of Equity LLC. I came into this work after starting my equity journey nearly two decades ago. But if I’m honest, I was born into this work.

My grandmother was a Black Panther, and sung to me the ballads of Audre Lorde and Eldridge Cleaver. My Mom is a sociologist to the core, and raised me to see all of the ways humans construct society, ourselves, and each other.

As I grew and began to grapple with the intersection of race, class, disability, gender, and sexual orientation in my life, a quest to discover the “why” of society and inequity — and the “how” of what steps we should take to become and equitable society — became my life’s passion. In the first part of my journey, this existential question manifested into a career of social work, community counseling, and grassroots advocacy.

In my current journey as a consultant, I seek the answers to my lifelong questions by sharing space with other who have similar questions, and exporing solutions through the lens of critical race theory and intersectionality; Narrative identity development and its role in cultural humility and allyship; Social and intersectional models of disability justice, and deconstruction of implicit and hidden drivers of social injustice and inaction.

In addition to my consulting work, I seek answers through grassroots community advocacy, listening and learning at the feet of elders and leaders, and practicing the cultural humility praxis I preach.

My areas of formal expertise and education spans public administration, nonprofit leadership and management, organizational change management, social impact strategies, leadership development, and coalition-building.

I have sat on panels for organizations like the Housing Development Consortium and Seattle Center RSJI; Given guest lectures at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and M.I.T., and; Featured in the Seattle Times, Crosscut, Seattle Arts, Seattle Magazine, and Diverse City LLC’s online learning series.

Beyond Consulting:

Community Organizing And Civic Engagement

I am currently co-chair of the Seattle Disabilities commission, and formerly co-chair of the Seattle Renter’s commission. I am founder of the Eleanor Elizabeth Institute for Black Empowerment and board member of POC-SWOP. I’ve also previously or currently serve as a member or lay-leader on the following boards: the King County Transit Mobility Council, The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, The Seattle University African American Alumni Association, and the King County Board for Developmental Disabilities Legislative Council.

Personal Mission Statement
My personal mission is to continue the work of my elders and ancestors toward antiracism, class and gender equity, and intersectional disability justice. I will forever fight for a society that values diversity, equity, and inclusion without expectations for assimilation and erasure. It is my passion, my calling, and my offering of filial piety to do this work, affirm, uplift, and empower us all, in collective power unrelenting, until the labor and dreams of our ancestors and elders for social equity, justice, and liberation has been established the sociocultural default.

Statement On Practice And Approach
My practice is built on a deep and intrinsic foundation of knowledge and wisdom both bestowed upon me from ancestors, elders, mentors on whose shoulder I stand, or at whose feet I was taught. My approach is rooted in the lifelong cycle of learning, experiencing, growing, experimenting, reflecting, and persevering. I seek to live firmly in the crossroads of my intersectionality and all of the identities that comprise my social, cultural, and structural reality. I incorporate lived experience and narratives of being a queer, femme, disabled Black and Indigenous person. My understanding is intertwined with community narratives that both tell the stories of those who have came before us, and have forecasted our pathways forward. I seek to do my part to empower change initiatives that expand horizons of understanding across identity and intersections. This praxis is fueled through cultural humility, narrative identity development, mindfulness, and a critical mindset.

I would love to share these practices and more with you or your team, and join you for a brief moment of your social equity journey