Nathan Baptiste is founder of EDI Mindfulness Consulting, LLC, supporting organizations to create equitable and inclusive work environments in which employees of all different backgrounds thrive and diverse communities are represented and well-served. The greater purpose is to create a more equitable and peaceful society in which race and intersecting social identities do not predict disparate outcomes in life. Nathan is a specialist in organizational change advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion. He is also a mindfulness meditation practitioner for over 20 years, which is an integral component in his planning, coaching and training facilitations.
Previously, Nathan served as the Diversity Program Manager at Oregon Metro, the regional government for 25 cities based in Portland, OR. In this role, he directly managed the agency-wide Diversity Action Plan and a number of agency-wide initiatives, in which he delivered the design and launch of a racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) professional development training plan reaching over 1,000 employees in its first year of operation. Other achievements include: advising departmental leaders in the roll-out of their customized racial equity strategic plans, leading development of an equity lens for the agency-wide employee engagement survey, launching and co-facilitating employee resource groups, and partnering with recruitment and procurement leadership to enhance equity protocols in decision-making.
In prior experience in the field of higher education, Nathan led diversity programming as a Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions & Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, and later as the Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement at Lewis & Clark College. In these capacities he drove initiatives to increase the diversity of enrollment at the college as well as retention through development of programs fostering a more inclusive environment. Nathan received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Occidental College and his master’s degree in Education Leadership from Columbia University. In his free time, Nathan enjoys outdoor family adventures, basketball, and dad-jokes with his 5- and 7-year-olds.
At Lewis & Clark College I served as a Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions & Multicultural Recruitment, and later as the Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement. In these capacities I helped drive initiatives to increase the diversity of enrollment at the college as well as retention through development of programs fostering a more inclusive environment. I also served on the college’s EDI institutional strategic planning committee.
Delivery of needed educational and professional development resources for racial/ethnic minority members, LGBTQ, and first generation college students, including peer mentorship program, EDI educational workshops, and annual intercultural leadership retreats
Chair of Student Life Diversity Committee, responsible for curricular planning and implementation of Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) educational cohort learning series, unconscious bias training series, and various professional development workshops well received by staff
Articulation of new vision and strategic plan for equity, diversity, and inclusion programming, positioning department to work more closely in collaboration with student organizations, peer departments, and external partners, in alignment with foci of Student Life division
Coordinated annual fall and spring multicultural recruitment fly-in programs, attracting increasingly large groups of prospective students via successful community outreach and engagement, resulting in high yield rates of underrepresented students attending the college, utilizing culturally sensitive practices
Diversity Program Manager:
As the the Diversity Program Manager at Metro, the regional government of the greater metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon, I served as an interdepartmental project manager and internal consultant for programs in recruitment, procurement, community engagement, communications, professional development, workplace conflict resolution and employee support, and EDI strategic planning. I directly managed the agency’s Diversity Action Plan and a number of agency-wide initiatives.
Advising for the COO, senior level leaders and other members of Metro on equity, diversity, and inclusion program implementation priorities
Design and launch of an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) professional development training plan, and intercultural core competencies framework
Advisor integrating anti-bias policy measures in procurement evaluations, resulting in thelargest public contract in Oregon state history to date ($27M) awarded to a minority-owned business
Redesign of the EDI annual workplace climate survey
Initiation and co-facilitation of employee resource groups (ERGs)
Design of equity tools for the development of recruitment and employee professional development initiatives
Bilingual community stakeholder engagement facilitation
Created recommended protocol for agency to enhance job description design with considerations for engagements with community partners and recruitment for diversity
Agency-wide racial equity, diversity, and inclusion strategic plan co-development
I had the pleasure working with Nathan during his tenure at Oregon Metro. I found that Nathan’s intentional and thoughtful approach enhanced our collaboration and centered projects with clear next steps. Nathan’s positive and relationship focused approach acted as a catalyst in bringing groups with competing interests together even through tough conversations. His strategic thinking and practical application helps to foster actionable steps for any project he interacts with. Nathan is a delight to work with and would add value to any project he is associated with.
Human Resources Business Partner, Oregon Department of Education
Nathan Baptiste is second to none as a collaborating partner. Having worked with him during his tenure at Metro, the regional government of Portland, Oregon, I found him to be a deliberative and creative systems thinker who often thought beyond obvious inclusion practices to ensure the fullest embrace of the most diverse populations. He walks his talk.
Dr. Alison Allen-Hall
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training Consultant
As a Dean of Students at a large, diverse community college, I have worked with many equity consultants and trainers — Nathan Baptiste is among the best. He is gifted at meeting individuals and organizations where they are at, while nudging them along. He balances strong emotional intelligence with professional acumen, particularly on issues of intersectionality. His style is strategic, high engagement, outcomes-focused, and fun. Every person at your organization will love working with Nathan, and you will see results.
Dean of Student Engagement
Nathan’s calm, focused attention to the topic and participants was invaluable for challenging conversations. Combined with his seamless integration of both data and personal experiences, participants in Nathan’s workshop will feel supported, challenged, and inspired. I left the workshop with new vocabulary, strategies, and actionable ideas for our recruitment and onboarding processes. Thanks, Nathan!
Human Capital Manager
EDI in the workplace is a long journey that requires a strong start. Nathan’s advice is a great starting point to then together build the foundations to become more inclusive.
Manager, Global Leadership Development, Special Olympics
Nathan’s workshop “How to Build a Anti-Racist Workplace” resonated with me on many levels, with great content covered. Whilst D&I is now widely en-vouge, I now understand the importance to capture ‘Equity’ in my programme (EDI). I really loved his summary clearly distinguishing diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity. And the additional resources he provided will allow me to further educate myself on this important conversation. Thanks Nathan
Theory of Change
The achievement of a racially equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization that thrives is dependent upon several key understandings grounded in mindfulness:
1) INTERSECTIONAL MINDFULNESS: We can’t change a problem that we can’t or won’t first recognize. Recognition that central to inequities and exclusion in an organization are the workings of systemic racism and other intersecting identity-oriented oppressions, including but not limited to sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and nativism. Clearly identifying the structural and intersectional nature of inequities helps us develop a coordinated response.
2) RACIAL EQUITY PRINCIPLES: Racial equity, diversity, and inclusion work is not a one-and-done affair. It is based on a set of principles that embrace people’s humanity and must be embedded in organizational culture to achieve sustainable results. Centering racial equity principles in use of an intersectional decision-making lens is essential for culture change that dismantles institutional inequities and barriers for all identity groups.
3) ACCOUNTABILITY: Action can only be meaningful when we take personal, collective, and structural accountability for change. Coupling accountability for self-examination at the individual and interpersonal levels with accountability for equitable policy outcomes at the structural level is critical to dismantle institutional inequities for transformational change.