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Rae Carter

Rae Carter (she/her) is a dialogue facilitator, culture builder, communication strategist, healing navigator, and intuitive arts practitioner. She cultivates community and creates opportunities for vulnerable connection, courageous conversations, individual wholeness, and collective liberation. As the founder of EmpowR, she embodies her life purpose as one small player in the shared work to heal the heart of humanity. Rae approaches transformative justice with a deep empathy and understanding of the vast and varied entry points for change.

Rae works at the intersection of health, communication, culture change, and consciousness. Her career background in public relations and organizational communication bridges with her lived experience navigating cancer and trauma, which opened educational pathways in holistic approaches to healing and emotional wellness that are now at the forefront of how she facilitates to support individual, group, and organizational nervous systems for cultural transformation. 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 a collaborative and creative partner for interpersonal, group, and organizational communication and development; social and emotional wellness; educational programs and trainings; building culture based in equity and belonging; and co-creating new ways of being in relationship with our bodies, each other, and the Earth. She is committed to an anti-racism journey, is a student of indigenous mind perspectives, and actively disrupts the toxic characteristics of dominant “white” culture—including holding herself accountable for how they show up in her own behavior.

AS A FACILITATOR…

Rae works with embodied awareness, mindfulness, deep listening, shared learning, equitable communication practices, vulnerability, and courage. She is trained in The Circle Way—a global equity and justice facilitation process and prioritizes practices and group agreements that embrace wholeness and safety. Her training in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, used in healthcare settings across the country, supports her ability to create a container to hold space for emotional discomfort, fear, and anxiety. Rae brings authenticity, integrity, and empathy to her facilitation and allows herself to be vulnerable and messy in our shared process of unlearning and relearning—part of what makes her a valuable and fun partner and collaborator.

Her background in coalition building and collective impact includes facilitating private sector/government/nonprofit collaboration in her communication, strategic planning, and facilitation roles with the Farm to Plate Network implementation of Vermont’s statewide food system plan. Rae serves on the steering committee for Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer (VTAAC) and facilitated integrative health professionals to inform health equity, survivorship, and integrative medicine strategies in Vermont’s State Cancer Plan. Rae facilitates dialogues circles, support groups, and community programming online and in nature at Grandmother Cherry Sanctuary. She also designs more complex educational programs and learning cohorts, integrating culture building and communication strategy.

AS A CULTURE BUILDER…

Rae connects her personal experience with transformation as central to being the change we want to see. Being diagnosed with cancer and several subsequent health issues, including burnout, at the height of her professional career, was a reckoning and examination of health and economic inequity, toxic work cultures,  systems rooted in oppression and dominance, and racial and environmental injustice. The educational pathways Rae followed as a part of healing and transformation directly inform her approach to culture building as does her lived experience unraveling to create something new.

Rae studies racialized trauma and practices somatic abolitionism with Resmaa Menakem at the Cultural Somatics Institute and completed the Art of Navigating Change program at Rockwood Leadership Institute in Oakland, California. She draws on her background in nonprofit program management at Girl Scout Councils in Nashville, Tennessee and Poughkeepsie, New York along with her early years exploring social behavior as a camp counselor and systemic injustice as a residential counselor at a youth mental health facility in Western Massachusetts.

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. This experience clarified her role as a change maker dedicated to actively co-creating new culture that is led by new and different voices and perspectives outside of the wealth and power structures of dominant culture. The impacts of Rae’s lifelong path as a status quo disrupter and advocator for justice and belonging contribute to her leadership, building EmpowR as a collective business model accountable to transformative justice.

AS A COMMUNICATION STRATEGIST…

Rae illuminates aspects of her 20 year career creating systems to navigate and implement public relations and marketing, organizational communication and development, human behavior trends and social impact, with a knack for operational and project management. Her ability to raise awareness to influence behavior change is based on her understanding how to mobilize around belief systems, values, and motivating interests. She has created and implemented numerous grassroots marketing and awareness campaigns throughout Vermont, most notably as core co-creator of the Rooted in Vermont movement to increase consumer demand for local food. Rae developed and delivered multiple communication and marketing strategies, many of which are still being used today, in her role as communications director with the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, which includes her work with the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, and the Flexible Capital Fund.

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.

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 returns to her communication roots for approaches on how to navigate the entry points for change, given that communication is foundational in all of our relational interactions. The interplay of our personal, group, and organizational nervous systems are what define how we communicate and our ability to be in relationship. And it is our relationships with each other that allow us to dialogue about our adaptability to change—recognizing our fears, responses to trauma, and our shared human need for belonging and community are at the root of personal and cultural healing.

AS A HEALING NAVIGATOR AND INTUITIVE ARTS PRACTITIONER…

Rae specializes in holistic wellness—the interconnectedness of the physical body, emotional and mental health, spirituality and belief systems, interpersonal relationships, and awakening consciousness as ALL interdependent to influence our well-being. She works with basic principles of “being” learned over the course of her lived experience navigating a health crisis and healing journey, including breath work, listening practices, embodiment techniques, mindfulness and meditation, guided visualizations, and healing with nature. View Rae’s listing in the University of Vermont Integrative Practitioner Network.

Rae’s background in communication, root cause analysis, project management, and strategic planning guides how she supports people navigating healing, personal, and professional situations. It is a methodology Rae has been honing her whole life to navigate personal transformation and one that she teaches to people so that they can be better equipped to navigate the complexities of healing and transformation in ways that work best for their bodies and circumstances. Rae works with many forms of communication in her healing work—self communication, interpersonal communication, advocacy, communicating with nature, vocal somatics, writing, speaking, and singing. As a singer, percussionist, and lyricist, Rae creates music with the Hygge Den music collective. She is also an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and supports people in spiritual celebrations and tapping into intuition and wise woman traditions.

Rae is a community herbalist who began growing food, herbs, and creating plant medicine in her early 20s. She began studying anatomy, kinesiology, and trauma in response to her health crisis. Completion of Rosemary Gladstar’s Science and Art of Herbalism program provides depth and resource to her knowledge and wisdom of the body, it’s systems, and how they interact with one another and the other facets of holistic wellness. Deepening her lifelong exploration in energetics, Rae worked with energy medicine while navigating her health crisis and became a Reiki I and II certified practitioner in the Usui System of Reiki Healing. She is a member of the Vermont Reiki Association.

As a deeply intuitive person, Rae’s work has always benefited from her intuition and only now does she have the courage to speak about her gifts in the healing arts. These gifts were awakened as Rae reclaimed her wise woman tradition ancestry as she navigated breast cancer, adenomyosis, menstrual disorders, autoimmune dis-ease, digestive disorders, mold toxicity, anxiety, depression, burnout, and the trauma that ensued from experiencing the economic disparity and cancel culture that followed in the wake of speaking truth about her health crisis. The healing Rae facilitated for her own health and wellness, personal transformation, and self responsibility are gifts that reside deep within her. This same magic and methodology weaves the threads of intersection among the roles Rae plays and how she designed the EmpowR container for transformation, drawing directly from her lived experience AND influenced by many others in our collective work towards healing the heart of humanity. Learn more about how EmpowR moves the work of transformative justice forward and what informs EmpowR’s commitment to this path.

Rae lives in Plainfield, Vermont and stewards a forest and healing sanctuary with her partner Mitch, their family of animals, and a growing community of beings engaged with EmpowR.

“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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