Session 1: Striving to Achieve Equity in Organizations: The Next Level of Change
January 29, 2019

Equity is a term being added to Diversity and Inclusion. Why is that? Why is it relevant for organizations, for individuals? This session will take on the meaning of Equity—its myths—what it is, what it isn’t.


Although we want to gain skills and knowledge about equity, it is our feelings and emotions that drive us to act to make the change we ultimately want to see. To embody this deeper learning, we will play a game, the Psychology of Privilege (a PIFF simulation). The game reveals what happens when we are randomly assigned a role in the “game of life”—rigged the way it really is—inequitable!


Come prepared to have fun playing this game and to gain powerful insights about the dynamics of superiority and oppression. You may be surprised by what plays out through you, even though you know the game is rigged. 


In the process, we’ll peer through several lenses to understand the dynamics: the Neuroscience of the human mind, social conditioning that shapes how we think and behave, unlearning misconceptions, and making room for new ones. We will consider how to infuse empathy and awareness into our systems, knowing more about the emotional impacts of inequity. We will engage in experiential learning that you can replicate back on the job to engage your colleagues in the work of equity.


“Creating Equity requires developing conscious power.” —Kristina Katayama



Learning Objectives:


As a result of attending this session, participants will:  

  • Know 4 practices to move from talking about equity to being equitable. 

  • Develop compassion and insight into the impact of inequitable systems, necessary for change to occur. 

  • Understand how social systems, institutional systems, and human nature perpetuate inequities.

  • Have a process to begin identifying and proposing changes to systems to create more equitable outcomes.



Kristina Katayama, Facilitator, Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership

Kristina Katayama has 20 years experience as a Leadership and Organizational Consultant, Facilitator and Coach, designing and delivering programs grounded in the practical application of the findings of neuroscience, emotional and social intelligence, and the power of presence, empathy and honesty. Kristina is a catalyst for connected engagement, peak performance and courageous leadership.


Passionate about human development and human systems, her engagements have brought her across more than 30 countries from Norway to Honduras, Australia to Japan, Germany to China, and include completing her bilingual MBA in Spain. Her experience has given her a deep appreciation for equity and social justice, and conversational fluency in 4 languages.


Kristina has supported organizations across all stages of development, from small private businesses to Fortune 100s including GM Europe, Boeing, AT&T Wireless, IBM Japan and Microsoft. She has also worked with governmental agencies and non-profit organizations including PATH, Education Service Districts, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, Hopelink, and Real Change.


Today, Kristina’s practice is focused on Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership process-consulting using shared analysis and purpose, from leadership of self to collective leadership to co-create powerful, adaptive and resilient systems. Kristina’s consciousness raising work brings out the vitality of humanity in our teams, organizations and communities.


Awards and Honors

 * President’s Award of Excellence for Leadership, International Business Group (2006)

 * Legacy Award for Consulting Partner of the Year, Executive Service Corps (2011)

 * Professional Development co-chair for Human Systems Development Professionals (2017-2019)

 * Community of Practice with Leadership Eastside (2018-2019)


On a personal note, Kristina dedicates about 10% of her practice to non-profit and social justice organizations including 501 Commons, the Underground Railroad, and the Freedom Project. She also delights in being a mother, outdoor adventure, dancing, yoga, “the Mind Illuminated” mindfulness meditation student teacher and intentional community living.


Nikum Pon, Ph.D., Co-founder, Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership.

Dr. Nikum Pon has dedicated the last 22 years of his life working with a wide range of students and their families in racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse communities in predominantly low-income settings in the greater Seattle area. He spent nine of those years at SafeFutures Youth Center, a grassroots community/youth development agency that serves predominantly low-income Southeast Asians and East African youth and families. As a staff member, he was directly responsible for four major programs - National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), After-school Tutorial, Asset Team, and Bilingual Case Management services. As a result, 95% of youth who were gang-involved or at-risk of gang involvement graduated from high school and/or moved on to working full-time to support their families. As a board of directors’ secretary and president, he oversaw SFYC’s development in operations, policies and procedures, long-term strategic planning, annual evaluation of the executive director, board development and financial management. As a result, SFYC’s budget doubled to 2 million dollars. Furthermore, Nikum has taught a number of undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University while conducting various mixed-method research on racial equity pertaining specifically to immigrant refugee students and families of color.


Currently, Nikum is the Director of Equity in Education for the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD). In this position, he and his team support King and Pierce county school districts toward systems transformation to ensure academic excellence for each and every student, which upholds the PSESD’s mission to ensure success for each child and eliminate the opportunity gap by leading with racial equity. He has developed and implemented research-based gap closing strategies along with providing on-going racial equity training and coaching for a wide-range of educators both locally and regionally to build their capacity to strengthen students’ educational outcomes.  


Nikum’s academic preparation includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Cell Molecular Biology and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, and Master’s Degree in Education from Seattle Pacific University. In addition, he completed his certification in Adaptive Leadership, a high impact collaborative leadership model, from Leadership Eastside as class of 2017. Nikum is a life-long learner as he continues to find ways to deepen his learning as a systems thinker, leader and critical race theorist. 




NWDLS is Managed by:  The Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion (ISDI)


ISDI is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of educating, supporting and collaborating with key stakeholders on ways to leverage differences and practice inclusion to enhance individual and organizational success.  


ISDI was founded in 2015 and assumed the management of the Northwest Diversity Learning Series in 2016, formerly managed by Archbright. Barbara Deane, the original NW Series co-founder, and Effenus Henderson, retired Chief Diversity Officer, Weyerhaeuser are the co-founders and directors of the Institute.  This is the 21st year of the NWDLS!


JOIN US in 2019 for the NW Diversity Learning Series:


(Please note: the order of topics and titles may shift slightly as we work with presenters.)


Session 2:  Leading with Equity: Rooting Out Bias Deep and Wide, March 12

Session 3:  Mending the Broken Trust Between Black Women and White Women, May 14

Session 4:  Reconciliation: Building Allyship Between Black Men and White Men, June 25


Session 5:  Supporting & Encouraging People Living with Invisible Disabilities, September 24

Session 6:  Communicating in Polarizing Times: Words Matter!, November 12