Counselor, Facilitator, and ConsultantCompany: Intercultural, Diversity, Equity & Social Justice
Role: Session Presenter
Sessions: Building a Future World Where DEI Leads (S5-H) | Bridging the Gap: Going Back to Go Forward—Decolonizing Ourselves, Our Work and Our Organizations (S6-H )
Natasha Aruliah identifies as a racialized, immigrant settler who now calls Turtle Island (North America) home. She currently lives, works and plays on the unceded and traditional territories of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations, also known as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Originally trained as a psychologist, she worked as a counselor in healthcare, education and community service settings, with many marginalized communities. Both through understanding her own identity and lived experience and witnessing others grapple with theirs, she moved into working more comprehensively with the systems and structures that cause harm, inequity and injustice as well as working with those impacted by them.
Natasha now works as a facilitator, consultant, speaker and coach, specializing in diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and transformative change for both individuals and organizations, with over 25 years of experience in the UK, Europe, U.S.A. and Canada. Her work is focused on lasting systemic change addressing colonial legacies and using an anti-oppression, social justice, decolonizing lens. Her work is grounded in interdisciplinary practices integrating intercultural competence and cultural humility/safety; emotional intelligence and embodied practice; critical thinking, leadership and management development; transformative organizational development; and equity, social justice and anti-oppression, specifically exploring power and privilege.
Natasha leads workshops and retreats, facilitates brave conversations in teams, coaches key staff and board members, as well as conducts organization assessments, and policy and process reviews. She strives to create spaces for all voices to be brought in and supports dialogue, often difficult and courageous, across difference and on topics that are usually avoided, taboo and challenging. Her work has included a provincial initiative facilitating community dialogues on race around the province, specifically indigenous–non-indigenous dialogue. She has worked with government, union, nonprofit, community and corporate sectors, and especially in the areas of education (K to 12 and post-secondary/higher education), healthcare, mental health, corrections (prisons), public sector, community services and increasingly in the environment and climate justice sector.
Natasha has also presented at numerous conferences across Europe and North America as a keynote and as a workshop facilitator. Additionally, Natasha is on the faculty at the Centre for Intercultural Studies at the University of British Columbia, and in the counseling and community services department at the Justice Institute of BC. She is a founding member of The Inner Activist, a leadership program for social change agents. (http://www.inneractivist.com) She is the past president of SIETAR BC (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and is still active in SIETAR, both locally and globally.
Her work is also informed by her personal experience as an immigrant, woman of color, parent of bi-racial children and the caregiver to aging, immigrant parents, one of whom has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Natasha is currently writing a book about her experiences working in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and the role of identity. Using a process model of identity engagement, she shares how to support people in their own journey of understanding and supporting EDI efforts.