W. Tali Hairston's Profile

W. Tali Hairston's Picture W. Tali Hairston
Equitable Development LLC
Seattle, WA
W. Tali Hairston Biography

Dr. Hairston is the principal owner of Equitable Development LLC, an educational and community development research firm, and directs a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative for the Seattle Presbytery. A noted speaker, consultant, researcher, facilitator, and thought leader, Dr. Hairston's capacity for multi-sector work is most realized in the variety of organizations and projects that seek his involvement. Dr. Hairston is a co-principal investigator for university physics and equity research work under multiple National Science Foundation awards and is currently working on several education and learning environment projects.

Dr. Hairston is a published researcher on equity and physics education, the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustee vice president and he travels nationally and internationally guiding community development, reconciliation, and social change for non-profits and corporations, including projects in Colombia, Cambodia, South Africa, Jamaica, and Vietnam. He was awarded the Jurisprudence Champion Award – Section on Public Law and Administration (2016) for contributions to the practice of public law and administration and awarded the Franklin High School Public Service Academy "Spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award (January 2017). Since 2018, Dr. Hairston's portfolio includes over $350 million in community and public fund investments and projects.

Upon graduation from the University of Washington, he accredits his undergraduate law professor for encouraging him to consider pursuing his passion for equity and education. He went on to work with gang-involved youth and created a mentoring education program for urban youth. The success of that program brought attention to the need for more training of youth workers and systemic injustice. In response, Hairston returned to school for his first graduate degree. During that time Hairston collaborated with youth workers and created Urban Roots, a pre-college development program in Seattle's Rainier Valley that focused on building agency and redesigning the learning environment for social change. Later, Hairston completed his research degree in education focusing on university physics and inclusive learning environments.