Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Equity at EPIC

We believe ethnography demands a focus on equity. Ethnographers strive to understand people’s worlds on their own terms, and shape organizations, products, services and experiences that are tools for them to build the lives they envision, free from the inequalities that may define their present. To do this well, we must address the ways we are connected to diverse, global communities through systems that benefit some and disadvantage others. Embedded in these systems are deep inequities of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class/caste, disability, and identity.

The EPIC Equity Council

The goals of the EPIC Equity Council are to advance equity within our community and create ​collaborative ​space​s​ for EPIC people to ​embed equity within their work. The council works with EPIC’s executive director and board to develop equity programs and policies, build organizational capacity for equity efforts, and direct the use of equity funding from sponsors and individuals.

Nikki Carelock

Nichole Carelock (she/her) is an anthropologist at the United States Digital Service with 10+ years experience building technical solutions that work with and for people. Previously she worked on privacy at Facebook and in civic technology ensuring the Presidential Transition Teams were equipped with the right Tech Policy, People and Practices to succeed. Her expertise spans from service design for systems with millions of users, to intimate cottage industry ethnographies. Nichole is a member of the EPIC Board.

Shakima headshot

Shakima Jackson-Martinez is the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at AnswerLab, where she leads the DE&I and talent acquisition functions. She is an advocate who specializes in foundational DE&I practices, inclusive talent acquisition, and building organizational empathy through internal research. Shakima has over 15 years of corporate experience in Human Resources, Project Management, Strategy, and Operations. She is extremely passionate about using research to foster a deeper understanding of company culture and organizational needs while also creating spaces where people feel a true sense of belonging. Shakima recently presented The Myth of the Pipeline Problem: Creating a Diverse and Thriving Team at EPIC2022.

kate sieck

Kate Sieck (she/her) is an anthropologist with 10+ years experience in building interdisciplinary teams to tackle entrenched problems in novel ways. Together, they blend qualitative and quantitative research with social theory, design, and storytelling to create rich contextual understandings of people’s lives, and collaborate toward innovative solutions. She currently serves as a Senior Manager on the Human-Centered AI team at Toyota Research Institute, leading the Harmonious Communities Department. Prior to this, she held roles in academia, marketing and consulting, and public policy. A passionate advocate for building and supporting the next generations of researchers, Kate also teaches the EPIC Course Using Theory in Research.

Becoming EPIC: Building Equity

“Becoming EPIC: Building Equity” is a new program directed by the Equity Council to tackle the ongoing inequalities that have shaped our field. We will leverage financial resources and the power of our community to provide mentorship, training, conference participation, and other opportunities for a cohort of early to mid-career practitioners, focused on those who have faced barriers to inclusion and/or whose work directly contributes to equity in our field. The expertise of cohort members will also be showcased. In May 2023 we welcomed the first cohort of participants. Initiated by the EPIC Equity Council, this program was developed and chaired in 2023 by four leaders in our community: Eric Atkinson, Etienne Fang, Chelsea Mauldin, and María Vidart-Delgado. They were joined by the talented researcher and strategist ToTran Nguyen, who as Program Manager has been central to moving this initiative forward. We’re so grateful for their leadership and expertise. Meet the 2023 Building Equity Team

Get Involved!

In order to advance equity with meaningful outcomes, to value equity and invest in it, we need your help:

1. Participate

If you have experienced barriers to inclusion and/or your work advances equity in ethnographic practice, and are interested in funding and/or equity initiatives that support your participation, please get in touch:

2. Make a Financial Contribution

We invite you to make a Donation, in any amount, according to your ability. Your donation directly supports equity and financial inclusion and enables access to our community, events, and resources. Equity make our entire field more just, rigorous, capable, and resilient.

2. Leverage Organizational Support

We honor organizational contributors as Equity Partners and offer benefits in recognition of their support. Contact us to find out more about Equity Partnership:

3. Contribute Time and Wisdom

Everything EPIC does is powered by members and volunteers. Please contact us to contribute time, wisdom, and good old “elbow grease” to our equity programs! We’d love your help with training, mentoring, fundraising, project management, and outreach:

EPIC Equity Partners & Donors

Our equity program could not exist without individuals and organizations who believe that investing in equity is essential. We are thrilled to recognize our inaugural Equity Partners: Catalyst Constellations, Multilingual Connections, and Generation Focus.

Individual contributors in our wonderful community include over 50 anonymous donors and: Adelina, Alexandra Mack, Andrea Villa, Anna Edmondson, Aude, Charley Scull, Collabo XD, Deborah Gassner, Elizabeth Anderson-Kempe, Erin Duncan, Evan Hanover, Gregory Weinstein, Helen King, Indicia Consulting, Jeff Chen, Jennifer Collier Jennings, Jillian Powers, Johannes, Kate Sieck, Kathi R Kitner, Kimberley Peter, Lisa Talia Moretti, M LeVan, Marta Cuciurean-Zapan, Martha Cotton, Marty Gage, Matt Bernius, Melissa, Meredith Hamilton, Mike Youngblood, Niels, noodle research, Ovetta Sampson, Robin Beers, Rose Kue, Rutabaga, Simon Roberts, Sonder Studio, Ulla Geisel, Tamisha Shankar, Tania Schlatter, Thomas J McLeish, Tracey Lovejoy, Ya