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Our People

Desiree is the former Equity Program Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the first position of its kind in the nation, where her work was dedicated to the alignment of social equity in public administration and environmental policy. In her consulting practice, she uses her unique combination of skills in organizational development, change management, social justice organizing, and systems analysis to address institutionalized racism through customized support to move organizations and teams towards equitable and just solutions. 

In 2016, Desiree was honored by the Obama White House for her work with the community to apply an equity lens to the City of Portland/Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, and in 2017 was recognized by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment for innovation in the environmental field. In 2020, she was recognized as Grist Fixer, and as a nominee for the UCLA Pritzker Environmental Genius Award for her continued work in setting a new, more just, trajectory for climate work in government. 

For over 20 years, she has worked with a variety of organizations including community development, refugee and international development, environmental, policy, organizations, schools, and government agencies as well as various grassroots initiatives to reverse the impacts of structural and institutional racism. 

She received her BA from University of Pittsburgh in Africana Studies, and Linguistics and holds certificates in East Asian Studies, and Professional French Translation. She received her Master of International Development degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs from University of Pittsburgh and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

Desirée Williams-Rajee (she/her)

Founder & Principal

Manisha Rattu (she/her) sees herself as a weaver, visionary, builder, and storyteller, according to the Social Change Ecosystem by Deepa Iyer. She works to center equity, uplift environmental justice principles, and strive toward a just future through climate policy development at the city and community level. Manisha co-leads a youth grassroots organization in her hometown called Pittsburg Youth Action and is working on a children's book that centers the narratives of BIPOC in outdoor spaces, particularly with a focus on Yosemite. Manisha is a 2016 UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars alumni and holds a BS '19 and MS '20 in Earth Systems from Stanford.

Manisha Rattu (she/her)

Project Manager

Belinda (she/her/hers) joined the Kapwa team in 2023 as the Executive Assistant to Desirée Williams-Rajee. Belinda is responsible for administrative duties, general business, and special project support. She is passionate about working with organizations with humanitarian efforts such as World Central Kitchen, the NYC Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination initiative, and now Kapwa Consulting. Belinda also has a love for the outdoors and believes strongly that sustainability is vital to our future.

Belinda Prince (she/her/hers)

Executive Assistant

Alisa Kane (she/her) is a sustainability consultant and certified life coach with over 25 years of leadership experience in city government, higher education and non-profit organizations. She’s managed policy development, programs and teams to successfully implement recycling, green building and climate initiatives. Alisa advances racial equity by centering the voices of people of color and implementing solutions that address systemic issues. She earned a masters degree in urban planning and an undergraduate degree in political science and Spanish. Alisa resides with her wife and two entertaining cats in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys listening to podcasts and writing about her relationship to things.

Alisa Kane (she/her)

Project Manager

Minna comes to consulting practice with a background in city-community relationship building, environmental literacy and education, and environmental justice. She has experience working for both local government and community-based organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was born and raised. Her work spans intersections of health, climate change, housing, gentrification, energy, and beyond. Minna was a 2020 Fellow at the Center for Whole Communities and Urban Habitat's 2019 Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. She is driven by a deep familial lineage of justice work and love for our people, planet, and future.

Minna Toloui (she/they)

Project Manager

Erin is a design strategist and social entrepreneur. She is a collaboration partner with Kapwa Consulting and currently leads innovation and strategy at the b:ask collective, where she works on a range of projects across the private, nonprofit, political, and philanthropic sectors. She uses her expertise in organizational change management and design strategy coupled with different creative modalities to explore complex systems and create pathways that increase agency and multiply impact. As a writer and musician, she works on projects that explore issues related to identity, resilience, and freedom.
Erin grew up in Portland, Oregon where she studied literature, linguistics, improv, and social innovation (in that order). Nowadays, you’ll find her in Portland and New York and a few places in between working with emerging leaders, social entrepreneurs, and artists.
She loves to speak on cultivating practices of creative compassion and wholeheartedness.

Erin Stevanus (she/her)


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