"Desirée has been leading the conversation on equity, climate, and sustainability in the public sector for a long time. What stands out is that she speaks and teaches from experience – she knows first-hand what it takes to create change in complex environments."


—  Nils Moe, Urban Sustainability Directors Network



Kapwa – The indigenous philosophy that “I am because you are, you are because I am” is captured by this Tagalog word for humanity. The concept reflects the notion that humanity is not an individual experience, but one defined by our relationship to others. This can also be expanded to include our relationship to nature as indigenous wisdom teaches us that nature is part of our broader community. Therefore, the existence of social injustice and climate change are direct indicators that our humanity is at risk.


Equity work is fundamentally about reclaiming our Kapwa. It is the fight to be in "right relationship" with one another and our environment. When we do the work of equity, we are correcting systems that have been designed to divide us through colonialism, slavery, and ongoing institutional racism and bias. These are systems with rules for gaining power and assigning value that have resulted in tragic human and environmental loss.


These broken systems have taken away our ability to act out of love for one another. This idea of love is not a romantic one. It is a work ethic. It is a responsibility to fulfill one’s potential in order to benefit a greater good, and conversely the work to protect the opportunity for others to fulfill their own potential. It is an act of embracing each other for the opportunity of what our collective potential can bring.


Kapwa works with organizations to change systems and leaders to transform organizations so that we can build abundant communities that fulfill our collective potential for shared prosperity and a sustainable future.   


Our team combines decades of experience honing equitable approaches to public sector and non-profit programs, plans, policies, and investments with authentic and meaningful community engagement to craft specific solutions for our clients.