Race & Equity

Race & Equity

"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

- Galatians 3:26-28

REAL - Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership

As SVA Church is committed to racial equity, our staff, leadership council, and some members of the congregation have been working with Dr. Nikum Pon since 2020. Dr. Pon has been leading our team through important conversations, guiding us through the work, and helping think through adaptive solutions to how to make SVA Church a community that is representative of all God’s people.

Dr. Nikum Pon, PHD

About Nikum Pon, PhD

Dr. Nikum Pon has dedicated the last 22 years of his life working with a wide range of students and their families in racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse communities in predominantly low-income settings in the greater Seattle area. He spent nine of those years at SafeFutures Youth Center, a grassroots community/youth development agency that serves predominantly low-income Southeast Asians and East African youth and families.

Nikum held a position as the Director of Equity in Education for the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD). In this position, he and his team support King and Pierce county school districts toward systems transformation to ensure academic excellence for each and every student, which upholds the PSESD’s mission to ensure success for each child and eliminate the opportunity gap by leading with racial equity.

Currently, he is the Chief Research & Evaluation Strategist for Educate to Liberate Consulting (E2LC). E2LC is a learning-focused consulting group founded, led, and operated by men of color scholar-practitioners who apply critical pedagogy, adaptive leadership, systems thinking, and anti-racist practices to work with individuals, organizations, and communities to engage, to educate, and to liberate within the context of K-12 education, post-secondary institutions, and the business/industry sector. E2LC works with organizations, businesses, institutions, education communities, and individuals to tailor our work to your needs.

Nikum’s academic preparation includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Cell Molecular Biology and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, and Master’s Degree in Education from Seattle Pacific University. Nikum is a life-long learner as he continues to find ways to deepen his learning as a systems thinker, leader, and critical race theorist.

Members of the R&E Collective Include:

Emily Ridout

Emily Ridout

Associate Pastor of Local & Global Outreach
Susan Chavez

Susan Chavez

Executive Pastor
Baly Botten

Baly Botton

Teaching & Youth Pastor
Robert Neal

Robert Neal

Dwight Smith

Dwight Smith

Pastor Emily Interview

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