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Council Of Community

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Tracy L. Stewart

Omitosin King

Ngọc Trân “Nikki” Châu

Karen Toering

Regent Brown

Dr. Katrina Sanford

Michelle Phillips

Yoona Lee

ChrisTiana ObeySumner

Sierra Pickett

JM Wong

Kristi Brown

Patricia Allen-Dick

Kirsten Harris-Talley

Damithia Nieves

Baba Erwin (Ifasanmi)

Kalisto Zenda Nanen (Listo)

Damithia Nieves

Eddie Hill

Eddie Hill, Gathering Roots

Eddie Hill

Tracy L. Stewart, Gathering Roots

Tracy L. Stewart

Tracy L. Stewart is mindfulness based mental health therapist at the Nile’s Edge wellness collective and activist in Seattle, WA.  She currently serves on the board of SURGE a BIPOC centered reproductive justice organization, Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) – Seattle, and has served on three Social Justice Fund (SJF) giving projects. 

She sees her role in community as working to create supportive, safe space for BIPOC folx in discovering their gifts through mindfulness practice and social justice awareness. Her cup is filled by the outside places, silly friends with microphones, passion for life, and folx sharing their good medicine with each other. “My focus is learning to be a good elder in order to support those out in the community fighting for all us to BE. In my work, I see a lot of suffering of black and brown folx who are warn from fighting to be their full selves.

With Gathering Roots, the intention is creating a place where that burden can be released, people can fill their cups with joyful learning and the beauty of the Earth, witnessed and empowered to be all that they are.”

Omitosin King, Gathering Roots

Omitosin (Omi) King

There are times when just one healing practice or modality won’t achieve the balance and healing that some need. Omitosin, The Spiritual Curator, brings many gifts, spiritual tools and workshops to help her clients with their personal transformation…Her collection of healing tools is vast and she supports clients on their path with loving kindness and non judgement. Using intuitive Ifa readings, reiki, chakra balancing, ritual, coaching, as well as crystals, and other tools, Omi assists clients in getting an understanding of their own energy and healing. 

Her intuitive and mediumship gifts help them “see the unseen”, as well as gain confidence and confirmation of their own gifts. 

Omitosin is a graduate of the Innervisions Institute for Spiritual Development (IVISD), where she studied Spiritual Life Development and is also an initiated senior priest in the West African indigenous tradition of Ifa (Meaning the wisdom of nature). She practices and is in leadership through the Obafemi Institute for the Divine Study of Ifa (OIDSI), based in Houston Texas. She was initiated into the priesthood in Ode Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria in 2010. 

Omi’s diverse background allows her to provide clients with a wealth of wide-ranging resources. Her compassionate, full-hearted love of people, love of self and love of LOVE creates an atmosphere in which her clients can truly flourish. Her down to earth, practical, solution-driven nature and deeply intuitive insights combine to support people in loving themselves, embracing their visions and bringing them to life! Ase!

Ngọc Trân “Nikki” Châu, Gathering Roots

Ngọc Trân “Nikki” Châu

Ngọc Trân “Nikki” Châu was born in Viet Nam and immigrated to the U.S. as a child refugee, an inheritor of the legacy of colonial and war violence in Southeast Asia. She comes from a land of fog wrapping around pine trees in the morning, hilly streets, coffee trees, and avocado trees in her grandmother’s front yard. Her work as a designer and community organizer is anchored in anti-oppression, anti-racist work. Her major indulges include cats and durian.

Karen Toering, Gathering Roots

Karen Toering

Karen Toering moved to South Seattle over twenty years ago. She works at the intersection of culture and justice to build systems that nurture our spirit and connected lives. This includes work in the fields of philanthropy, media justice, food justice, and arts and culture. She is the co-founder of Sankofa Film Society, a film and discussion series in Seattle and founder of the Gary International Black Film Festival in her hometown of Gary, IN. Karen is also a managing partner in Black and Tan Hall, a food and cultural venue in Hillman City, South Seattle. She works in a variety of capacities, as a consultant, catalyst, and cultural worker, but her favorite role is as grandmother.

Regent Brown, Gathering Roots

Regent Brown

Regent Brown, is a multiracial, multicultural, dynamic, unapologetic womxn who works with those who wish to be active participants in change; by looking internally, acknowledging our role in systems, and then moving through difficult learning to remove barriers to reaching our fullest potential. After receiving her Bachelors in organizational Psychology and Masters in Social Psychology, Regent broadened her career as a Human Resources professional with over 15 years experience creating equitable workplaces within non-profit, government, and private sector organizations. Regent currently is the Director of People & Culture for EnviroIssues; along with being principal of Fostering Real Opportunities consulting firm. Utilizing developmental strategies, restorative practices, and trauma-informed principles, Regent strives to build a culture of belonging, accountability and collective leadership that can foster opportunities of change. Regent primarily focuses on racial and disability equity; partnering with those who wish to collaborate to create equitable and thriving communities. 
Dr. Katrina Sanford, Gathering Roots

Dr. Katrina Sanford

Dr. Katrina Sanford is a Psychotherapist with a background in Clinical Psychology with specializations in Trauma and Sex Therapy. Dr. Sanford uses her trauma informed background to challenge social injustice for her clients and community, particularly racially induced inequities.

In her private practice, which is located in the new African-centered healing arts space called Nile’s Edge (nilesedge.com) that she co-owns, Dr. Sanford treats couples and individuals with a focus on issues related to sexual health difficulties, alternative lifestyles/relationships (polyamory/non-monogamy,) members of the LGBTQ community, anxiety and mood disorders, womyn’s issues, gender identity struggles, and trauma, including different forms of abuse.

She is also the Executive Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer black womyn nonprofit organization dedicated to healing their community through creative collaborations (earthpearlcollective.com).

Michelle Phillips, Gathering Roots

Michelle Phillips

With over 15 years of leadership in the healthcare and wellness industry in the Pacific Northwest, Michelle  strives to put the “we” back in wellness. Acknowledging that we can’t heal alone; we heal best together and in community. They have held post on almost every rung in  the healthcare industry’s ladder. Michelle has launched an oncology clinic for UW Medicine as well as spent a few years training as a hospital chaplain many years ago. 

Michelle is currently seeking licensure as a  clinical mental health counselor for the State of Washington at Seattle University and is a  grounded servant leader on campus and in the community.

While serving as chaplain, Michelle discovered the connection between reflective praxis also called mindfulness, spiritual and emotional connection and physical and mental health.

Michelle has facilitated focus groups, conflict resolution and staff training for students, interns and clinicians using expressive arts, earth medicine and humor. Michelle’s passion and clinical interest is supporting wellness for all helping professionals, building a thriving practice around self-love and care first, burnout and compassion fatigue prevention and supporting highly-sensitive people in the workplace and academic settings. Michelle is particularly interested in combining narrative therapy or storying and expressive arts to create transformational community healing rituals and retreats. Michelle respectfully requests they pronoun and possessives in reverence and linkage to their unnamed ancestors pronoun and possessives in reverence and linkage to their unnamed ancestors of unknown lineages, languages and genders.

Yoona Lee, Gathering Roots

Yoona Lee

Yoona Lee is a Korean American visual artist, writer, and racial justice activist based in Seattle.

Her creative practice deals with marginalization, cultural hybridity, and collective liberation. Yoona’s work can be viewed at rhymeswithrace.com

ChrisTiana ObeySumner, Gathering Roots

ChrisTiana ObeySumner​​

Consultant, advocate and CEO of Epiphanies of Equity LLC, ChrisTiana ObeySumner has a lifetime  passion for understanding social systems and their flaws, and has dedicated their life and career to community-building and strategizing how true, core-level equity can become a reality.

Taught at the feet of Black Panthers and existentialists, ChrisTiana approaches the work with a radical acceptance and lovingkindness of the human condition, and empathetically direct advocacy for evaluation and change to our policies and constructs.

They are the CEO of Epiphanies of Equity LLC, and rooted in transformative justice in policy and systems of inequity; Radical healing and collective power building for intersectional communities of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled folks/ people with disabilities, and those at the “bottoms and margins” of capitalist class structures; and social impact and lived experience of intergenerational and relentless sociocultural and political violence

In her private practice, which is located in the new African-centered healing arts space called Nile’s Edge (nilesedge.com) that she co-owns, Dr. Sanford treats couples and individuals with a focus on issues related to sexual health difficulties, alternative lifestyles/relationships (polyamory/non-monogamy,) members of the LGBTQ community, anxiety and mood disorders, womyn’s issues, gender identity struggles, and trauma, including different forms of abuse.

She is also the Executive Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer black womyn nonprofit organization dedicated to healing their community through creative collaborations (earthpearlcollective.com).

Sierra Pickett, Gathering Roots

Sierra Pickett

Sierra has a passion for accessible Sangha building. At the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) — a donation-based, social-justice Buddhist center that Jack Kornfield has called “the most diverse Sangha on the planet” — she has been serving as a long-time Coordinating Committee member of the People Of Color Sangha, a weekly sitting group offering safe(r) space for POC practitioners, and currently sits on the Programming Committee for EBMC at large. Holding a three year term on Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s board of directors, Sierra is a web weaver who sees networking as an intentional act of love connecting us together in reciprocal support. 

​Volunteering and participating on the board with East Point Peace Academy for several years, she values Kingian Nonviolence and Fierce Vulnerability as true avenues in transformation and is honored to have witnessed and experienced it through this work. ​An American Sign Language interpreter, Sierra loves expanding linguistic and cultural accessibility within a social justice framework. Easily spotted in bright colors, she will greet you with an infectious smile.
JM Wong, Gathering Roots

JM Wong

JM Wong is a seeker, a lover, a healer and a convener. A sense of connection to homelands and the resiliency of transpacific ancestors ground them in the present, and the mysteries of our unfolding moments keep them inspired about the future. They find peace and joy in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha and the various manifestations of these jewels in their lives humble them. They are grateful to be in community with BIPOC healers. 

Kristi Brown, Gathering Roots

Kristi Brown

That Brown Girl Cooks! Is a manifestation of chef Kristi Brown’s artistic culinary mind. It is food, it is culture, it is community. Simply put, it is a culinary collective of ideals, recipes, pop-ups, and products. Explores her inspirations, melds them with her experiences, and brings them back to the community.

Chef Kristi’s interactive cooking classes are a new concept based on her desire to keep families fed. Her goal is to teach people how to create a healthy, wholesome, affordable, and sustainable meal plan for themselves, and or families.

Patricia Allen-Dick, Gathering Roots

Patricia Allen-Dick

Identifying as multiethnic and multitribal, Patricia “Chookenshaa” Allen-Dick predominantly identifies as multiethnic and multi-tribal; Tlingit (Xun.aa Kaa.wu/Hoonah Village – Glacier Bear Clan/Eagle Moiety/Upper River House (Chookaneidi/Naanaa Hit) Alaska Native, Mohawk, Seneca, Black and AfroCaribbean (Montserrat Island – Arawak, Sierra Leonen, Taína descent).

Patricia is a founder of NDNs for Justice (2010-2014) which was a women-led Indigenous civil rights organization in Seattle. She is also a member of Hip Hop grassroots organization, 206 Zulu, and a member of Women of Color Speak Out; organizing and educating the systems of oppression that have led climate change and why it is important for marginalized communities to lead the global environmental justice movement. She is 3rd generation to Seattle. Her late grandfather running the 2nd Black-owned funeral home in Seattle’s historic central district; whereas, both of her maternal grandparents became leaders in grief and social services advocacy. Patricia has spent many years researching the intersectionality of human, environmental, and international Indigenous rights in relationship to reconciliation and healing (in Canada, South Africa and Peru) during her undergrad at UW. She has been actively participating in coastal canoe journeys in BC, Alaska and Washington every year since 2011. After returning from Standing Rock, she focused her grassroots organizing in the Seattle Black and Native communities of color around solidarity, accountability, and healing. In 2019, she was training by Tlingit & Haida Tribal Court Justices and Tribal Leader, Mike Jackson, on Kake (Keek.Kwaan) Peace Making Circle Facilitation.

She is currently serving as an elected Delegate for Tlingit & Haida Tribes of Southeast Alaska (Seattle Chapter) and facilitating the National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness as well as the Community Advocate with the Chief Seattle Club.

Kirsten Harris-Talley, Gathering Roots

Kirsten Harris-Talley

Kirsten Harris-Talley is a community activist, political strategist and community educator. She currently serves as State Representative for the 37th LD, Pos 2; serving neighbors in Renton, Skyway, and SouthEast Seattle. She is also Co-Founder and Principal at In The Works, building belonging and healing practice with communities of color, women, and youth-led organizations. She honed her skills and professional roots in community; doing reproductive justice, racial equity, and non-profit program development. She started her political activism organizing for the Healthy Youth Act, the Washington state law that supports science-based health education in public schools. She previously served as Interim Executive Director for NARAL Pro-choice Washington, advocating for reproductive freedom. She also served as Political and Program Director for Progress Alliance of Washington; leading their equity grantmaking with communities of color, women, and youth-led political organizations. She is active in the #BlocktheBunker and #NoNewYouthJail movements, both of which address policing accountability and abolition of systems of incarceration. As a founding board member of Surge Reproductive Justice, she knows first-hand the transformation created when those most impacted lead our movements. In fall 2017, she was appointed to serve as interim Seattle City Council Member for Position 8, where she brought her active work in community to the city budget process. She and her husband raise their two children in South Seattle, Rainier Valley. Also, with very little coaxing, she will rock the mic and do a karaoke duet with you.
Damithia Nieves, Gathering Roots

Damithia Nieves

Damithia is a dedicated practitioner, educator and tenacious advocate of self-care, community care, and disrupting dominant narratives that derail our personal growth and healing.

She is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, certified children’s yoga teacher, and trauma informed restorative practice vfacilitator.

She is the founder of Thrive Yoga, a yoga and mindfulness youth empowerment organization, offering trauma-informed, culturally responsive movement and mindfulness practices to youth in schools K-12.

Damithia is passionate about facilitating the deep healing work around race and social justice, especially as it intersects with yoga and wellness.

Baba Erwin (Ifasanmi), Gathering Roots

Baba Erwin (Ifasanmi)

Baba Erwin (Ifasanmi) is an initiated Ifa priest and a member of the senior leadership within O.I.D.S.I.(www.obafemi.org). He is also a classically-trained actor, artist, educator, creative consultant who brings his innate creativity and passion to every facet of his work. His ongoing work includes the use of ritual and arts disciplines as tools to engage diverse communities in the exploration of issues and ideas around Joy, healing, creativity, legacy, civic responsibility, cultural identity, spirituality, social justice, and community leadership. He is currently serving as a spiritual advisor and educator in the NYC area supporting community members in identifying their purpose and maintaining spiritual wellness during these evolutionary times. An active member of the / Roundtable Leadership Council of Restorative Justice practices. A master Reiki practitioner A new student of Flower Essence therapy An active practitioner with MINKA Brooklyn Student of Indigenous Focused Trauma Therapy IFOT
Kalisto Nanen

Kalisto Nanen

Kalisto Zenda affectionately known by community as Listo has had a lifelong passion and education toward community building and land stewardship. Born and raised on the Illinois Wisconsin border on a tree farm, he has taken his skills in environmental sustainability and preservation to found Syzygy Passings a Death Guide and Healing Service. Kalisto has always been inspired by the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes and Zora Nealle Hurston leading to a background in journalism and anthropology. He self professes as the swiss-army knife of volunteers and a human of all trades, never not interested in learning a new skill. 

Kalisto enjoys building accessible spaces, reforesting and reseeding public lands, storytelling and learning new languages. He’s known for his bubbly laugh and glowing smile — taking the name the happy mortician and the nickname smiley.