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Thriving Families: The Intersections of Race & Disability

Thriving Families: The Intersections of Race & Disability
Hosted by Amara, Families of Color Seattle & PEPS


Admission is free. Lunch and childcare will be provided. Venue is wheel chair accessible. ASL and language interpretation is available upon request. When registering, please specify the language needed, by October 4 so that we can secure appropriate interpretation services. Space is limited - register early!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 11am – 1pm

5907 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South
Seattle, WA 98118

Join us for a discussion on the intersections of race and disability to learn, through the lived experiences of the panelists, about the disparities in equitable outcomes for people of color with visible and invisible disabilities, and the value of integrating disability justice with anti-racist work.

Moderator: ChrisTiana ObeySumner - CEO & Social Equity Consultant, Epiphanies of Equity: Education and Consulting




  • Celeste Peña – Parent and intersectional advocate for equity
  • Shayla Collins – Parent and intersectional advocate for equity
  • Ben Wahl – Program Director, Aspiring Youth Program at Ryther
  • Hodan Mohamed - Family Support Specialist, Open Doors for Multicultural Families
  • The community at large and families that are directly impacted by these intersections
  • Those interested in racial equity/racial justice, to understand that integration of disability advocacy is key in anti-racist work
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the topic and clearer understanding of the danger of a single-issue approach presents to social justice
  • Information and resources available to families

ChrisTiana ObeySumner, MNPL has been facilitating and consulting on issues of social equity for a decade. Their passion for social equity is rooted in disability, racial, housing, and gender advocacy spanning 15 years. They've worked in housing and homelessness services, mental health and addictions direct service, and as a city commissioner on the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities and the Seattle Renters Commission. As a former peer counselor and community organizer, ChrisTiana brings elements of storytelling and counseling-inspired approaches to difficult conversations. Their approach comes from a shared horizon of lived and professional experience, and a scholarly perspective, considering how our social history can help predict our future, and how our social contract lies at the foundation of social inequity. They have their Bachelors of Science in Psychology, a Masters of Nonprofit Leadership, and working on a Masters of Public Administration at Seattle University. They were born in Alaska, and raised in the Philadelphia area. They love rock music, wry humor, and WWE.

Shayla Collins is wife to Marcus & mother to two young boys with disabilities. She is a facilitator of mindfulness sessions in partnership with Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, a faculty member @ the UW Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities program in the Family Discipline & most recently facilitated a FOCS group for families of children with disabilities. Shayla is a born & raised Seattleite whose hobbies include reading, being in nature with her family and eating pastries.

Ben Wahl has worked with children, adolescents and young adults for over twenty years in a variety of other roles. In 2005 Ben founded Ryther’s Aspiring Youth Program and in 2013 he founded Ryther’s Delphi Young Adults Program (recently re-branded as Full Spectrum). More recently, he worked with young adults in the program to launch QRKCON, a gaming and media arts convention for neurodiverse youth and their families, held each May in the Central District’s Washington Hall. Ben holds an MSW from the University of Washington. He is passionate about finding ways to increase family access to services.

Presented by

AmaraFamilies of Color SeattlePEPS logo
Amara works to ensure that every child in foster care has the love and support of a committed family – as quickly as possible, and for as long as each child needs. FOCS is connecting parents to build a loving community of families of color. We equip parents and educators with tools to talk with children on identity, racism, inclusion & equity, and trauma-informed practices. PEPS connects parents to create strong, healthy families, offering groups that provide concrete support, social connections, and parenting resources.

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