Embrace Equity Advocates Training


The EMBRACE Health Equity Training Seminars are adapted from Pierce Community College’s Multicultural Leadership Institute. This program offers participants a comprehensive and streamlined 8-hour training focused on Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion competencies from the individual and organizational level. Our strength-based approach provides solution-focused approaches to operationalize the core competencies learned.
This program focuses on bringing participants together both in person and virtually from diverse backgrounds, organizations, and experiences. The goal is to acquire the skills needed to embrace diversity and practice working successfully within multicultural environments. Participants will learn, understand, appreciate, and value each other, and in turn, go out and serve as advocates, coaches, and supports in their communities, as well as within the organizations they serve.
Upon completion, participants will have the tools and resources to be Health Equity Advocates. In a world too often divided, Equity Advocate leaders face the challenges and support strategies to pursue health equity, build inclusive environments, and achieve reconciliation.

DEI 2020 Summit Registration

Date: October 15, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Online Video


Increasing your Cultural Confidence:

During this time participants will learn skills and provided resources to build their individual cultural competence. The workshops during this segment is designed to build basic skills and shared vocabulary to identify and define diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Stay Woke: Being aware of implicit bias

Identify Implicit bias and how they could affect your interactions with peers. Participants will be led through a series of exercises that will assist with cultural and emotional lenses that may affect their ability to respect a person’s world view and how to be aware of unconscious biases. (Resources Given to Use in Practice) Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Invalidation Hand-out, Reframing Tool.

Peer Support as Health Equity Advocates

Destructive and ineffective behaviors occur when powerful feelings are triggered by microaggression. A Peers feelings need to be acknowledged and respected using a combination of emotional self-care and calling people in, instead of out. Peers will learn specific strategies to assume positive intent, give space and humility to Peers and Co-workers, and advocate for themselves and others. Learning how to work with peers with various levels of cultural understanding is important as a successful Peer Equity Advocate. Peers will need skills to take charge of the negative self- talk and limit being emotionally hijacked. </P.



KITARA JOHNSON currently works at Excelsior, the second largest Behavioral Health Organization in the Inland Northwest. As the Chief Diversity Officer, she manages and supports strategic organizational development, Health Equity Outcomes, Community Health partnerships, and training. Kitara earned her Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Management at Webster University, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Workforce Education and Development, and her Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Development. Kitara is a graduate of Leadership Spokane and is an alumnI of JustLead Washington a yearlong diversity, equity, and social justice leadership and professional development training program.

Kitara is currently serving in year four of a five-year appointment to the Washington State Supreme Court’s Minority and Justice Commission. Duly, Kitara is a highly sought after speaker and trainer competitively selected to be a TEDx Talk presenter. Kitara was a Master Trainer for the Washington State University School of Nursing and Vancouver Behavioral Health Workforce Collaborative. She was also a contract trainer and curriculum developer for the Washington State Department of Early Learning and other state agencies.



JUAN ALANIZ is the diversity, equity, and inclusion manager at the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA). Juan likes to say he helps people, groups, and organizations grow; to envision change, and in supporting their own paths to transformation. He thrives on challenges and mission impossible assignments. He practices inspirational leadership, employs the power of human connection, builds trust-based accountability partnerships, and co-creates committed team-minded cultures. Like many of us, he has lived through and overcomes difficult personal and professional challenges. He practices methods and principles that serve as a compass for direction, strong armor to confront the challenges and resilient power to navigate and rise above them. He freely shares his experience, strength, and hope with those he mentors and works with, striving to live from a center of love and service.

EVELYN CLARK is the Youth Liaison for Washington State Health Care Authority, The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. She is a Mexican-American woman who is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She was appointed by the Governor as a member on the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile
Justice. She also chaired the youth subcommittee under the partnership council for two years, leading youth to be agents of change. She is now the Co-chair of the Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Committee. Evelyn has lived experience in the juvenile justice system and the behavioral health system. For 11 years, she served youth in Children’s long-term inpatient facilities, juvenile rehabilitation facilities, juvenile detention, foster care system, and youth within the Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) program. During those eight years she also served on Local community boards; The Tacoma Gang Reduction project, Pierce County Sexual Exploitation of Minors Task Force, Tacoma Gun Safety, and Pierce County Juvenile Court Youth and Family Council as the Youth Tri Lead. During her last two years of direct service, she was the Youth Tri lead for Pierce County WA Family Youth System Partner Round Tables which is a governance structure for youth and families impacted by the system to voice change to all youth-serving systems. With the help of the youth, she created their local youth group, Youth Truth. Evelyn was one of the first youth peer counselors in the State Of Washington to supervise other youth peer counselors at a behavioral health agency. Her new role with the State allows her to provide technical assistance on the utilization of youth peer counselors, youth engagement, and leadership to youth-serving systems and agencies across Washington State. Evelyn is a Program Manager for the Youth Professional Leadership training, a Statewide FYSPRT youth coach, and a WISe youth coach. She recently helped create and is the Program Manager for ‘Statewide Youth Leadership in WA State’, which is the Washington State Children’s Behavioral Health Youth Network. Evelyn is a newly appointed co-chair of the International Association of peer support youth and young adult committee and the SAJE (Study and advancement of justice effectiveness) advisory committee to represent youth voice. Recently, she is the proud recipient of the 2019 Peer Alternatives youth and young adult leadership award. She is passionate about ending racial and ethnic disparities in the systems and promoting leadership opportunities for people of color. Her vision for the youth is that they will take over what she currently is doing in her work.

ANDRE CLARK is a graduate of Washington State University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. He is an employee of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families where is currently a Juvenile Rehabilitation Counselor at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington.

Andre is from Lakewood Washington. He got his start in this field mentoring and tutoring youth when he was in high school, his first mentoring role was at his former middle school. Andre has served on many councils, committees and boards, including the Tacoma Gang reduction project, Tacoma gun safe T, wheels up Guns down, Health Care Authority’s Statewide Youth Network steering committee, Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice Youth Committee, WISe symposium youth committee, Gang intervention committee, Project 253, Tuff Love Intervention, and the Professional community intervention training institute.

Andre’s mission is to put an end to the school to prison pipeline and to guide youth to tap into their full potential. He is passionate about instilling leadership skills within them. Andre strives to break the stigma on Men of color as he models success to the youth of color he works with who are justice-involved.