Rae Carter (she/her) is a dialogue facilitator, communication and healing navigator, culture builder, and anti-racism educator. She cultivates community and creates opportunities for vulnerable connection, courageous conversations, individual wholeness, and collective healing. She works at the intersection of health, communication, culture change, and consciousness, embodying her life purpose as one small player in the shared movement to heal the heart of humanity.
She is the founding co-creator of EmpowR, a container for personal, organizational, and cultural transformation with a mission to co-create cultures of empathy, healing, community, and accountability centered in equity and belonging.
Her 20-year background in public relations, grassroots outreach, and organizational development integrates with more recent work in holistic health, trauma responsiveness, and embodied transformation. Inspired by her lived experience navigating cancer, trauma, and cancel culture for speaking up against the harms of dominant culture and publicly challenging the status quo, Rae is deeply engaged in community building and collective impact approaches for how language, narratives, conversations, and relationships emerge into behavior changes that can shift white social norms to embrace cross-cultural humanity.
The depth of her understanding of the vast and varied entry points for change allows her to bring authenticity, integrity, and empathy to her work. Rae demonstrates vulnerability, courage, and spirited messiness in the shared process of unlearning and relearning—part of what makes her a valuable and fun partner and collaborator. Rae approaches complexity through a root-cause analysis lens and works at both micro and macro elevations. She is a systems thinker who can both see longterm vision and actualize the steps forward with adaptability. She is skilled at breaking down complexity with meaning, value, relevance, and guidance for people, programs, and organizations.
Rae is committed to an anti-racism journey, is a student of indigenous mind perspectives, and actively disrupts the toxic characteristics of dominant “white” culture to build something new—including holding herself accountable for how they show up in her own behavior and embodying culture change and liberation in her daily life.
She is active in national somatic abolitionist work with Resmaa Menakem through both Education for Racial Equity (ERE) and ongoing studies in racialized trauma with the Cultural Somatics Institute. She completed the Art of Navigating Change program with Rockwood Leadership Institute in Oakland, CA which informs her heart-centered approach to facilitating brave space. She is trained in The Circle Way—a global equity and justice facilitation process and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program—used in healthcare settings across the country; both which support her ability to create spaces for white people to address the emotional discomfort, anxiety, and fear surrounding anti-racism work.
Rae is an associate with The Creative Discourse Group, a Vermont-based consulting business that centers marginalized voices to achieve equity, justice, and inclusive community. She serves on the steering committee for Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer (VTAAC) and advocates for cross-cultural collaboration to implement health equity strategies in Vermont’s State Cancer Plan. She recently concluded five years of service on the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility board of directors, where she activated social justice perspective conversations, provided strategic planning leadership, and advocated for organizational culture change to disengage from white supremacy and patriarchy characteristics of nonprofit operations.
Her background in coalition building and collective impact includes facilitating private sector/government/nonprofit/institutional collaboration in her communication, strategic planning, and facilitation roles implementing legislative policy in statewide food system planning with the Vermont Farm to Plate Network. She has created and implemented numerous grassroots marketing and awareness campaigns throughout Vermont, most notably the Rooted in Vermont movement to increase consumer demand for local food. This work was part of her role as communications director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, which also included creating communication systems for VSJF as well as the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, Flexible Capital Fund, and Slow Money Vermont.
Rae served numerous Vermont clients spanning education, government, small business, health care, travel and tourism, agriculture, finance, energy, and nonprofits as the owner of Rachel Carter PR—a public relations, social media, and grassroots marketing agency and as the public relations director at Paul Kaza Associates earlier in her career. Rae was one of the first bloggers and social media influencers in Vermont and was named Vermont’s Young Careerist of the Year in 2008 and was a Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star in its inaugural year (2010). She taught public relations courses at Champlain College and worked as a journalist for several years, including coauthoring Vermont: An Explorer’s Guide.
Her background also includes nonprofit program management at Girl Scout Councils in Nashville, TN, Poughkeepsie, NY, and counseling work at a mental health facility for disadvantaged youth in Lenox, MA. Rae holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and organizational communication and a certificate in music performance from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Rae’s experience with a personal health crisis weaves her career background with her specialization in holistic wellness as integral in her facilitation, communication, culture building, and anti-racism education work. The interconnectedness of the physical body, emotional and mental health, spirituality and belief systems, interpersonal relationships, and awakening consciousness are ALL interdependent to influence our well-being and the behavior change required for a more just and loving world.
Rae draws on her background in music, singing, speech, and recent trainings in vocal somatics and energy medicine during her health crisis to integrate embodiment of the voice and how we navigate emotions in the work of advocacy and speaking up for racial, gender, class, and ability justice. She also practices Earth-based medicine from her ancestry in the wise women traditions and invites exploration of spirituality and faith into anti-oppression work and the intersection with environmental justice.
Rae lives on Abenaki land in Plainfield, Vermont with her partner where they steward Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary—a community forest and herbal sanctuary. She is an herbalist and recently completed Rosemary Gladstar’s Science and Art of Herbalism, creates music with the Hygge Den music collective, is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church, and is a Reiki I and II certified practitioner in the Usui System of Reiki Healing. As an intuitive arts practitioner, she offers healing and embodiment sessions in nature at the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also the land base for EmpowR educational programs and retreats that bridge the arc of connection between personal healing and self-examination with anti-oppression to co-create new ways of being in relationship with our bodies, each other, and the Earth.
“I am committed to transformative justice because it is my responsibility, as a white person of Western European ancestry, to work towards repairing and healing the harms of my ancestors. I am committed to upending expressions and systems of oppression and racism as they show up in my life and cause harm to people in present day. I hold myself accountable to share my gifts to co-create the conditions where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is accessible for all people, regardless of their identity and the color of their skin.” ~ Rae Carter
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