About Us

Equity Matters is a Seattle, Washington based consulting firm. We specialize in providing training, assessments, and consultation around racial equity and systemic change using research-based and tools developed through an extensive history of work. We focus our work on supporting non-profits, government, educators, and philanthropy.

We believe to make change we must use a Head, Heart, and Hands approach.

Equity Matters Founder and Principal

Heidi K. Schillinger, M.S.W.

Heidi has close to two-decades of experience working with clients to create more racially equitable results. Through her experience she has developed many tools and techniques to demystify and help clients address systemic inequities in their organizations. She is the founder and principal of Equity Matters, which has a vision and mission of working to create social, environmental, and racial justice.

Heidi received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College, and a Master's of Social Work with an emphasis on Multi-Ethnic Practice from the University of Washington. Her lived experiences of working and living in Mongolia as a Peace Corps volunteer, biking through South Korea, and bicycle training with teens in White Center that shape her work; many bicycle metaphors are included in her training sessions. She also has a knack for technology and gadgets and a weak spot for Korean BBQ.


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.


Equity Matters Associate

Cassandra Rodriguez, M.I.T.

Cassandra brings a background in education and passion for community-based systems solutions to the Equity Matters team. Her experience working with pre-k through graduate school practitioners gives her a unique lens on the education system from early learning through higher education. When not working on social and racial justice causes, Cassandra can be found chasing sunsets and playing with her lab-boarder collie puppy. 



Administrative Manager

Mindy Huang, B.A.

Mindy Huang is the team's keep-everything-in-order person. Mindy is a Seattle native but has spent much of her life traveling. Her goal is to completely fill an extended page passport before it expires. Mindy brings her organizational skills and fast typing (144 words per minute) to Equity Matters. Her experiences, including being a child of immigrants, and she being "the gateway into wokeness," helping to explain race to friends. Mindy has a BA from Colorado College in Sociology.

She's fluent in Cantonese and dabbles in speaking Mandarin, Japanese, and Nepalese.


Writer and Editor

Erin Okuno, M.P.A.

Erin Okuno is Equity Matter's writer and editor and the chief blogger at Equity Matter's sister publication Fakequity.com. Erin's professional background includes working in education advocacy and community building. Originally from Hawaii, Erin grew up as part of the "minority-majority" and strong Asian Pacific Islander culture, and her love of "local" food and pidgin' English continues.

Erin is a Seattle University alum with a Masters of Public Administration, Bachelors of Public Administration and minors in political science and social work.


Operations Manager

Marki Schillinger, M.A.

Marki provides endless stories to Equity Matters. She can also be found helping in the front office, but mostly she spends her time cheering on the Seattle Storm and riding her bicycle. Marki has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University.





Behind the Scenes Team

Patience Schillinger is the web designer and creative face for Equity Matters. When she's not behind the screen she can be found in a hammock, on the beach, or on the soccer field with her husband, son, dog, and two cats in Costa Rica.


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