ChrisTiana ObeySumner

Social Equity Advocate, Educator, and Consultant

United States

I am a social equity educator and consultant who utilizes a "Tapestry Framework" to explore the why and the how of what diversity, equity, and inclusion truly means. I incorporate personal, professional, and historical experience and narratives that tell the stories of our ancestors and provides guiding introspection for our pathways forward in cultural humility and radical acceptance, broadening horizons of understanding across identity and intersections.

I draw upon concepts and theories of social and existential psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology to facilitate a gracious space for organizations to gain the tools and rituals needed to transform from one that is “well intentioned” to “well aware” in their social equity journey.

I provide DEI assessments and scans, social and community impact reports and strategies, workshops and trainings, facilitation and caucusing, and various nonprofit consulting services. My expertise is rich, but my favorite topics are discussing the theories and "why's" of social equity; Racism, colorism and antiblackness; and intersectional disability inclusion initiatives.

I am also available for panels, keynotes and speeches, artistic justice performances, and writing for your publication or blog.


Articles, Blogs, and Transcripts

Equity is the Engine: The "Pimp my Ride" DEI Parable

By ChrisTiana ObeySumner, MNPL Nearly two years ago, I transformed a lifetime of intersectional disability justice and antiracism advocacy into a consulting business called Epiphanies of Equity: Education and Consulting.

From Ally to Accomplice: Do the Thing! - ChrisTiana ObeySumner - Medium

The following is a transcript of a speech given on the importance of actionable accomplices in social justice versus philosophical allies in inaction; given at the Seattle Womxn's March on January, 19th, 2019. Hello Seattle Womxn's March! I'm honored for the opportunity to share a message on this MLK Weekend and give a call to action for 2019.

Accountability, Action, and Implementation: A Call to Action in Support of WA I-1000

This speech was given at the MLK Jr. Coalition "Affirmative Action=Justice" rally in Seattle, WA January 21, 2019. Earlier this weekend, I referenced a passage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in the letter from Birmingham Jail where he stated, "I had hoped that the White moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."

Finding Life's Purpose: Reflections of Praxis - ChrisTiana ObeySumner - Medium

Someone asked me what they should do if they feel as though they've not found their "life's passion." I've been asked this question quite a lot. As I enter this new year, and over 15 years into this journey, I seek to find an answer -- if not for my own mindful reflection out-loud for critical social discourse.

South Seattle Emerald
Black Autistics Exist: An Argument for Intersectional Disability Justice

by ChrisTiana ObeySumner After more than a decade advocating for Intersectional Disability Justice, I received the honor of being voted the first Co-Chair of the Seattle Disabilities Commission who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color. Ever since, I have turbo-charged my advocacy and study of intersectional disability and fought for the amplification...

South Seattle Emerald
South End Stew: Our World Is Crying

by ChrisTiana Obey One: When I wake up in the morning, and I greet my white husband When I lay in bed and wait for my body to tell me if this is a good day or a muscle relaxer day When I rem...

South Seattle Emerald
Epiphanies of Blackness: An Unspoken Rite of Passage

by ChrisTiana ObeySumner A seemingly consistent rite of passage across the lived experience of Black Americans is the moment where one realizes that: 1) they are Black, and; 2) being Black is a problem. My first mini-rite of passage was in kindergarten. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and went to a predominantly White elementary...

South Seattle Emerald
Addressing White Privilege: An Open Letter and Call to Action

by ChrisTiana ObeySummer To White folx who deny, or are unaware of, their privilege: Considering our Euro-Centric culture, government, and education system, I empathize being faced with a lifetime of misinformation and the subsequent schema change that must come from that epiphany. It is important to be mindful and knowledgeable about what people mean when...

Guest Post: Why I ran for Seattle City Council

ChrisTiana ObeySumner, Affordable Housing and Homelessness Advocate November 9, the day after the 2016 general election, re-ignited something within my soul. A drive for justice, equity, and bringing the voices of those who are most affected by the failures in our system to the forefront.

Videos and Audio of Speeches, Panels, and Interviews

MICRO - Pilot Episode 1:No You Didn't!

Micro is about employees in a technology company who face everyday subtle slights called microaggressions. Tameka, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion works daily to change the culture, but she has her work cut out for her! Microaggressions- a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

LGBTQ+ Pride: What is Gender Identity and Expression?

Dr. CI chats with ChristTiana ObeySumner, social-equity consultant, educator, and advocate who partners with Diverse City LLC often. This video focuses on what is the "+"in the LGBTQ+ 9 identities are represented in the "+ including Asexuality. Demi-sexuality is the concept that one needs strong emotional connection to feel sexual arousal. Gender Identity versus Gender Expression One's Identity is your essence, what you feel in your soul. While gender expression is how one expresses...

Voices from the 2019 Seattle Womxn's March

The Seattle Womxn's March, now in its third year, has come and gone. But the voices from the rally linger in these speeches. Themes included healing and thriving, peace through justice and local calls to action.

Seattle stories that humanize mental health struggles

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a mission, "to improve the quality of life for all those affected by mental illness." For the second year now, NAMI Washington has presented a storytelling event in Seattle called The Brainpower Chronicles.

Spotlights and Highlights of Advocacy and Work

SU Voice Alumni Blog - Alumni - Seattle University

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 3:48 PM PST Seattle University alumni and students are well known for their leadership skills and commitment to service. As an institution that places an emphasis on professional excellence and discernment, it should come as no surprise that many alumni feel called to start their own businesses.

Seattle Met
A Dog Walks into a Grocery Store

On May 4, 2017, a 50-year-old man arrived at a crowded Burger King on Rainier Avenue in South Seattle to order a burger-just like any other customer. Except that he stepped up to the counter, ordered, and proceeded to a table with a hamburger-along with his dog.

Black inclusion at Seattle Opera

By Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor This spring, Seattle Opera is excited to be working with Social Impact Consultant ChrisTiana ObeySumner as we continue our racial equity work. ChrisTiana will help Seattle Opera forge a dialogue with members of Seattle's Black and PoC communities leading up to our and Porgy and Bess productions.

Front Porch
Meet the Seattle Renters' Commission: ChrisTiana ObeySumner

ChrisTiana ObeySumner is an Alaskan-Born, Philly-Raised, East-Coast transplant who moved to the area in 2010 to attend Seattle University as a Transfer Scholar. They have a BS in Psychology, a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership, and is currently pursuing their M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health & Addictions Counseling.

Media Mentions and Features

The Spectator
The Womxn's March Unites with the MLK March to Bring Change - The Spectator

The Women's March stands as a controversial symbol of feminist activism from the past two years. This remains especially true today, as critics accuse the movement of only representing the limited agenda of white, affluent, cisgender women. "I have been going to feminist marches since I was [a student] in college," Theresa Earenfight, the program [...]
Seattle Women's March 2019: Equality still 'not an easy fix'

The 7:55 a.m. ferry sailing to Seattle from Bainbridge Island is more often filled with commuters with ironed dress shirts, slacks and hair-sprayed dos accompanying their shoulder bags and backpacks. But on Saturday they were replaced with pussy hats and black garbage bag-wrapped, shouldered protest signs.

'This is democracy at work:' Thousands take part in Seattle Women's March

SEATTLE -- The third annual Seattle Womxn's March kicked off Saturday with thousands in attendance. The march began at Cal Anderson Park, led by indigenous drummers, and headed into downtown. The thousands marching flew balloons and held up signs, many of which mocked and protested the president.

Lessons on Empowerment from the Disability Intersectionality Summit - AAPD

November 29, 2018 | Maya Branch and María Antonella Pereira What do you get when you put over 100 disabled people in a room together? We found out at this year's biennial Disability & Intersectionality Summit. Both disabled women of color ourselves, we know too well what it's like to be more punchline than human being.

Seattle Is Changing Who Gets A Say At City Hall. Could Austin Learn A Thing Or Two?

Austin is growing and it's getting more difficult for middle-income people to afford the city. But Austin is not alone; cities across the country are facing similar issues. KUT's Audrey McGlinchy traveled to Seattle, Portland and Denver to find out how each city is dealing with rapid growth - and how they're trying to make sure every resident benefits from it.

'Believe Survivors': Seattle rallies in support of Ford in Kavanaugh hearing

SEATTLE -- Coast to coast, people rallied in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday as Senate committee hearings got underway. At Westlake Center in Seattle, about 100 people turned out with messages like, “Believe Survivors. ” Donna Burdick attended the rally to vocalize support for all people who have been victimized.

For Charleena: Amplifying Black Womxn's Voices

In June 2017, Seattle's Charleena Lyles' life was taken by the Seattle Police Department. Almost one year later, we are coming together to honor her memory, and speak back to injustice through art, performance, and word.

The Seattle Times
Will Nick Licata return to the Seattle City Council? Decision coming Friday

Former Councilmember Nick Licata is the only experienced lawmaker among about a dozen applicants for the Position 8 seat, vacant since the council last month appointed Tim Burgess to the city's top post after Mayor Ed Murray resigned. Share story An old hand or a new voice?

Q13 FOX News
Taxis vs. rideshares: Issue prompts rally outside City Hall

SEATTLE -- On the steps of City Hall, it was a rally around ridesharing Wednesday. The popular car service has replaced the taxi cab for many people. But it's also an industry that is unregulated. The City Council has a proposal it's considering to regulate rideshares, but the companies that provide the service and their customers believe the city is going too far.

Seattle Met
Council's Taxi Committee Considers Legislation to Restrict Ridesharing

The Seattle City Council's taxi committee got an earful from taxi advocates and advocates for ridesharing services like Lyft and UberX, this morning, after a long discussion of new rules that would significantly restrict ridesharing. Lyft and UberX-services that allow users to summon a driver via smartphone app-are technically illegal in Seattle, but are thriving, as the proliferation of pink-mustached Lyft cars attests.

City of Seattle to consider proposed rules for ride sharing

SEATTLE -- The City of Seattle has proposed new regulations for ride sharing services around the city that could impact how you get around town. The city council meets Friday morning to discuss how to start regulating this growing industry and companies like Uber X, Lyft and Sidecar aren't happy about.