W. Tali Hairston, MAGL, is Senior Advisor for Community Engagement at the Seattle Presbytery. He is father to four wonderful children, Isaiah, Kennadi, Lynia, and Jordan. He and his wife Crystal enjoy doing ministry together, going to plays and musicals, and being foodies. Along with an amazing community of friends, these are the true gifts of his life that encourage and strengthen him.
Born and raised in the Rainier Valley neighborhood of Seattle, Tali loves his community. Tali grew up doing ministry with at-risk youth and young adults in Seattle, and is a graduate of the University of Washington and Fuller Seminary. He is on schedule to complete his PhD in Educational Leadership by June 2019. As a noted speaker, writer, consultant, researcher, and educator he is passionate about the work of organizational diversity, reconciliation studies, global urban community development, and equity and diversity in higher education, marketplace, and the church.
For 17 years Tali was the founding director of the John M. Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development at Seattle Pacific University. He was responsible for leading the educational advancement in reconciliation and community development emphasizing research and development of reconciliation, equity, and diversity. The center also provided service-learning and experiential education opportunities in justice, poverty, ethnicity, and cultural literacy for undergraduate students.
Called to engage the work of reconciliation and community development, the work has taken Tali all over the world, working with ministries and leaders from Cambodia to South Africa. Formed by these global experiences and inspired by his own family history as one of the largest enslaved families in American history, Tali is known for his gift to encourage and equip youth and young adults of all backgrounds to pursue God’s call and purpose to be and become.