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Hiding in Plain Sight: Examining the Values that Drive Disparity

January 27, 2021- 9:00am to 11:00am (PST)

Presenters: Matt Echohawk-Hayashi and Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi

When our values of equality and fairness contrast so greatly with the profound and consistent racial disparities we experience every day, we have to consider the uncomfortable. Perhaps such lasting and large disparities are the result of a successfully system, and NOT due to a failed one.

Participants will get into “good trouble and necessary trouble” in this session by examining organizational values and behaviors that may diverge from the values we espouse, what may be keeping those values and behaviors entrenched, and a framework that allows for productive and reflective critique.

Participants will leave with tools and techniques to help their organizations assess their values and behaviors, to make them more relevant, more lived, more inclusive of a diverse workforce.

By the end of this session, Participants will:

  • Gain a framework that centers on solutions instead of blame.

  • Learn how to critique systems that produce disparities between racial groups, regardless of intent.

  • Learn antiracist practices to apply in their own context.

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Meet the Presenters:

Matthew Hayashi is the principal organization development and leadership consultant for Headwater People. He offers organizations a variety of strategic consulting services such as organization design, strategic planning, change management, process improvement, retreat planning and facilitation, and executive coaching. His passion is to help connect groups to the core mission of their work through collaborative and innovative learning and whole organizational health.

Additionally, Matthew has significant experience in facilitating empowering and productive experiences in emotionally charged and relationally challenging circumstances. Relevant bodies of work include facilitating discussion between Seattle Public Schools and Seattle’s urban native community over failed efforts to close achievement gaps for Native learners; leading a project to partner IHS and a Montana Tribe to find equitable solutions over water disputes; and facilitating team-performance workshops for a physician partnership at Swedish hospitals. Very recent clients include the Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Services, UW College of Education, Washington State Department of Commerce, King County, and City of Seattle. Matthew has a particular interest in supporting community-led projects that improve systems in Native American organizations and agencies. Matthew grew up in indigenous communities in Kaneohe, Hawaii and continues to be grounded in the perspective and gifts of traditional cultures.


Colleen Echohawk is an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake. Ms. Echohawk is the Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit dedicated to the needs of Native American and Alaska Native people who are experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Chief Seattle Club provides a safe and sacred place to rest, revive and nurture the spirit of urban Native people. They serve approximately 100 urban Native people a day, 7 days a week, providing services such as hot meals, clothing, laundry, showers, resources for sobriety and wellness, and cultural programming. The Chief Seattle Club is the winner of the 2017 Neighborhood Builder Award. Municipal League of King County named Chief Seattle Club organization of the year in 2016. Crosscut awarded Ms. Echohawk their annual Courage Award for Public Service, also in 2016.

As the founder of the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness, Ms. Echohawk is committed to homeless advocacy. The coalition is a first of its kind to respond to the trajectory of Native American and Alaska Native people living away from reservations in urban places and experiencing homelessness. Ms. Echohawk is interested in creating systems and structures that help facilitate wellness, and encourage kindness and courage. Her education has been focused on organizational development and leadership; helping brilliant people do better work for the greater good. She is the co-founder and principal at Headwater People Consulting Group. 

Ms. Echohawk serves on local boards including a Mayoral appointment to both the Community Police Commission and co-chair of the City of Seattle MDAR Committee. Other board affiliations are KUOW (National Public Radio member station,) All-Home Coordinating, Metropolitan Improvement District.

In her spare time, she loves to read, sing karaoke, listen to National Public Radio and cook delicious food for her friends and family. Ms. Echohawk is a proud mom to two children and is married to Matt Hayashi. 

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