Meet Our Associate Partners
Arab and Muslim Cultural Expert
Soumaya is President & CEO of Khalifa Consulting, she is an Egyptian American Muslim, with a consulting practice specializing in intercultural communications, leadership development, and global diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ms. Khalifa provides corporate, non-profit, and governmental institutions with wide-ranging expertise and practical solutions to cross-cultural operations. With her background in human resources, Ms. Khalifa provides consulting, training, and coaching in religious accommodations in the workplace for Muslim employees.
Since 2009, Khalifa has been an adjunct faculty member at Emory University’s Center for Continuing Education, offering courses on intercultural communication, diversity, equity and inclusion, and Human Resources Certification. Along with her consulting and teaching, she is the executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta.
Her work has brought her much recognition and significant honors, including an invitation to the White House and being named a Citizen Diplomat by the US State Department. Most recently, Soumaya received the 2021 Honorable Mention Power the Future award from The Forum on Workplace Inclusion. She is a 2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement and was honored in Atlanta Magazine’s 2019 Women Making a Mark. She received the 2018 Arab American High Achiever Award by the ALIF Institute and the prestigious Phoenix Award by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2017.
Bilingual DEI trainer
Carol Seals is a bilingual DEI trainer with Culture Shift Team, where she delivers dynamic training sessions that help strengthen knowledge and awareness around understanding implicit bias, stereotypes, and microaggressions. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Carol moved to Tennessee as an adult where she established her professional career in marketing, business, real estate, and nonprofit management.
Most recently, Carol worked with Cummins Filtration HQ where she was responsible for driving global contract negotiations reviews, supplier delivery performance, and global sourcing. She has been an active and engaged DEI and multicultural communications professional working with leading non-profit organizations and broadcast communications as well as a dedicated community volunteer.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Lipscomb University, where she graduated with honors, a Bachelor’s degree in management and human relations from Trevecca University, and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Belmont University.
Film and Video Producer
Esteban Pedraza is an American filmmaker and editor of Colombian descent. He graduated with a BFA in Film and Television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
In 2020, Esteban directed fashion runway show films for Yeezy and Palm Angels. As a film editor, he is currently represented by Forager.tv in New York and has worked on numerous narrative, documentary, and commercial projects.
Clients include Yeezy, Ford, Samsung, ESPN+, 1800 Tequila, American Express, Marriott, Away, Les Mills, Fila, LA Lakers, and the New York City Ballet among others.
His latest short film, "The Nurturing," starting Lauren E. Banks from Showtime's City on a Hill, was selected "Best of 2020" on NoBudge. In 2021 Esteban wrote and produced his first song, "Siglos” available on all music platforms and YouTube.
Juan Reyes directs Culture Shift Team’s media relations, event planning and community outreach in Puerto Rico. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Reyes has opened and managed restaurants in San Juan, P.R., and Nashville, Tenn., where he lived for seven years before returning to Puerto Rico in May 2019.
Reyes’ extensive contact list and on-the-ground presence provides an inside track for clients seeking to enter the Puerto Rican market and achieve sustainable growth.
in Anti-racism Education
When Chakita was the dean at a local high school in 2018, she saw a trend in education that she sought to change. Black history wasn't well-represented or taught. So she made a bold move to create United Street Tours, a tour company that specializes in Black history tours and experiences. The company became an instant success.
Chakita has been featured in StyleBlueprint who dubbed her work as "the tour everyone should take.” She is also Nashville Business Journal's 40 under 40 for 2020. Her company is rated 5-stars on major sites and she’s hosted people on tours from all over the world.
Chakita went on to become the Diversity and Inclusion Co-Director for the leading human resources organization MT|SHRM. Currently, she is serving as one of the Historical Commissioners in Davidson County and is one of the global voices leading conversations around race. Her mission is to make antiracism the new normal through education and action.
Carlos J. Martinez G. has put his expertise in process management to work in a variety of sectors, from finance to manufacturing to technology. He currently provides web and mobile app development, consulting services, along with process optimization guidance, through his Franklin, Tenn.-based consultancy, Big Hub Solutions. Carlos is professionally certified in GitHub and Google Analytics. Born and raised in Colombia, Carlos carries a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, a graduate certificate in finance, and advanced certifications from the Tennessee Language Center.