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KJ Williams, the CEO and Founder of RISEWITHUS, is a driving force in advancing race and social justice. With a focus on fostering transformative change, sustainability, and growth, KJ collaborates with organizations, groups, and individuals across various industries. By working from within, KJ facilitates the journey towards equitable practices and outcomes.

KJ's educational background includes a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Washington and an MPA from Seattle University. KJ's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion is evident through their involvement in various initiatives. This includes serving on the City of Seattle LGBT Commission, the University of Washington School of Law Diversity Committee, the Board of Directors for the Initiative for Diversity, and the University of Washington School of Law Gates Scholarship Committee. Currently, KJ is actively engaged in the Certified Mediator Practicum with the Center for Dialog and Resolution, further enhancing their skills in conflict resolution and mediation.

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Managing Director 

AJ Williams is an accomplished professional with a strong background in the non-profit sector, focusing on youth development and social impact. Their extensive experience as a front-line worker, program coordinator, director, and deputy director showcases exceptional leadership and a commitment to bettering the lives of young adults. Beyond their non-profit work, AJ explores their love for the outdoors and visual design, finding inspiration in blending interests to create positive change.

As a business owner and consultant, AJ has specialized in equity, diversity, inclusion, and conflict management, guiding organizations and individuals through complex issues to foster inclusive environments and sustainable growth. Known for their strategic thinking and practical solutions, AJ is a trusted advisor and facilitator. They prioritize personal well-being through physical activities like being an avid gym-goer while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

With a passion for inspiring others, AJ aspires to become a public figure in the self-development space, using their expertise, dedication, and drive to help individuals unlock their potential and lead fulfilling lives, making meaningful contributions to society.

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Senior Partner Consultant

Jennifer Werdell walks alongside legal service and social justice organizations in their journeys to become more adaptive, equitable, community-entered, and anti-racist. After kickstarting her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and legal services attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group, Jen transitioned to nonprofit management and leadership development work, overseeing network-wide initiatives for NPower, corporate volunteer programs for Microsoft, and fellowship programs at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. While managing public interest and pro bono programs at Seattle University School of Law, she started to coordinate a statewide leadership development program for attorneys and community partners as well as the Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative (REJI). Jen then helped to create the nonprofit JustLead Washington as a home for REJI and the Leadership Academy and served as JustLead’s founding Executive Director until May 2022. Since departing JustLead, Jen continues to support legal and social justice organizations as an independent consultant providing leadership, equity, and anti-racism focused training, consulting, coaching, and facilitation. Given her not-so-unique experience as a white woman operating in nonprofits, Jen is called to the work of learning and unlearning with her peers to create a different and more equitable future for the sector and her community.

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Senior Partner Consultant and Coach

Jay Doran has nearly 15 years of experience with anti-racist organizing, coalition building, policy advocacy, facilitation, and communications. Jay holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Psychology from Duke University. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Jay loves all types of southern cooking, especially pulled pork and collard greens. He has lived in Seattle since 2010, and while he will never forget his roots, he firmly believes that the west coast is the best coast. Jay is a lover and nerd of all things science fiction, because through science fiction we can imagine and create endless possibilities, including a world full of justice and liberation. As a cisgender, white man, Jay deeply believes that we all stand to benefit from racial equity, and white people all have an imperative to actively heal and undo the wrongdoings of our country’s past and present.  A brighter future is possible when we learn to work together and center love and community

RISEWITHUS was established in 2018 with a singular mission: to deliver groundbreaking, thought-provoking solutions in the quest for equity. Our approach to each client is rooted in innovation, as we tailor custom strategies with a fresh perspective. Our purpose is to assist you and your organization in realizing its objectives in the journey towards justice, equity, and inclusion. Are you prepared to propel your business towards becoming a pro-equity and pro-inclusive organization? Let's embark on this transformative path together.


At RISEWITHKJ, LLC, our guiding principle revolves around the recognition that lasting and transformative change begins with introspection and self-examination.

We firmly believe that the essence of meaningful change lies in the alignment between our professed values and our actions and communication in our everyday lives.

Understanding that our ability to effect positive change and drive systemic transformation is intricately linked to our personal growth and development, we place great emphasis on individual growth.

We are committed to fostering equitable decision-making practices, acknowledging that this is contingent upon comprehending how our individual beliefs, biases, strengths, and areas for improvement converge and influence our lived experiences.


  • Transformation through introspection and self-examination

  • Alignment between professed values and actions

  • Emphasis on personal growth and development

  • Commitment to fostering equitable decision-making

  • Recognition of the influence of individual beliefs and biases on experiences.

Organizational Partners

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