About Us

Equity Matters is a Seattle, Washington based firm providing top-notch training and consulting services around diversity, cultural competence, and equity. Equity Matters uses research-based lessons and promotes best practices in our work. We believe by starting here, you’ll get to equity.

Equity Matters Founder and Principal

Heidi K. Schillinger, M.S.W.

Heidi’s experiences living and working abroad in Mongolia, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and in South Korea helped to shape her passion for providing and sharing culturally competent practices. In addition to her experience overseas, Heidi has spent over a decade working with diverse communities and supporting institutions to address systemic equity. Heidi has extensive knowledge and experience engaging participants in topics such as cultural competence, equity, privilege and oppression, internalized (or appropriated) oppression and dominance, and intersectionality. She is the founder and principal of Equity Matters, working to create social, environmental, and racial justice.

The other stuff: Heidi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College, and her Master’s of Social Work, with an emphasis in Multi-Ethnic Practice, from the University of Washington.

Heidi does some of her best thinking while riding a bicycle.  She also loves gadgets and things with on/off switches.

Equity Matters Associate

CiKeithia Pugh, B.A.

CiKeithia's background is in early learning community and family engagement. She has worked with communities of color to bring educational services to families. CiKeithia is a trained and experienced Race and Social Justice facilitator. Her work includes leading conversations around race, working with systems level and grassroots community organizations to reduce racial disparities. Her work is also featured in the fakequity.com blog. On the side CiKeithia can be found in the shoe and purse sections of stores and dancing at Zumba class. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Evergreen State College.


Behind the Scenes Team

Dr. Christine Nguyen is a silent, but not-so-silent partner, in Equity Matters. Dr. Nguyen is a practicing physician at Group Health Cooperative. She makes sure Heidi gets her annual flu shot so she doesn’t miss any days of work. On the side she plays a mean ukulele tune and makes duct tape wallets. Christine has a D.O. from Des Moines University.

Marki Schillinger provides endless stories to Equity Matters. She can also be found cheering on the Seattle Storm and riding her bicycle. Marki has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University.

Patience Escobar is the genius behind Equity Matter’s logo, web design, and our bike jersey design. She lives in tropical Costa Rica where she does design work, and owns a bike shop with her husband, and provides human love to the neighborhood dogs and cats. Patience has a BA in Fashion Design and Marketing from AIU.

Erin Okuno is a grant writer, copy writer, and editor for Okuno Consulting. Equity Matters is one of her favorite clients. She is unapologetic in her love of marshmallow Peeps and drinks with little umbrellas in them. Erin has an M.P.A. from Seattle University.
Erin's LinkedIn


Certified as a Woman and Minority Business Enterprise, Certification #M4F8421965.