EmpowR founder, Rae Carter, shares her story navigating cancer, mental health, income disparity, and cancel culture as the morning keynote speaker at the Money Matters Symposium on Oct. 7, 2022 at the Governor’s Pavilion in Montpelier. Rae shared her story about personal and financial health unraveling to set the tone for the symposium theme: A Women and Trans Therapeutic Journey to Financial Freedom.  

Rae spoke about her lived experiences in Vermont and the detrimental impact a snowball effect can have on economic stability and health. The title of her speech was “Breaking the Connection Between Self Worth and Income.”

Here are a few words from Rae’s keynote: 

  • Human beings are not alive to serve capitalism. We are here to share our gifts, beauty, love, and magic. And we are all needed to co-create the cultural conditions of belonging for New Earth!
  • Over the past 12 years, I have experienced 3 health crisis. All interconnected and all contributing to and resulting from downward economic mobility.
  • For the past 5 years, I’ve been in a deep unraveling process that has helped me come to understand my experience with healing, trauma, and ongoing transformation taught me that trying to commodify my gifts into something that can earn income has caused disease in my body.
  • How many mental health, addiction, chronic pain, and long term illness diagnoses are symptoms of people trying to live and survive in a capitalist, patriarchal system of dominance, oppression, racism, greed, and destruction?
  • We need to talk more about classism and economic privilege and unmask the taboo norms that prohibit conversations about money and its direct link to health. 

Rae’s 40 minute keynote address can be viewed here.

The entire event was streamed on ORCA Media and can be viewed here.

Rae owned and managed a public relations business and worked in marketing for many years in Vermont (known then as Rachel Carter). She also worked as a journalist for a few years and was the co-author of Vermont: An Explorer’s Guide. She was a Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star in its inaugural year and worked for Vermont’s tourism, food system and economic development industries for much of her career. She now owns EmpowR Transformation and facilitates services, networks, and community that co-create cultural conditions of belonging, equity, and liberation.

The Money Matters Symposium was presented by The Vermont Kindness Project and organized by Shanda Williams and Jaquelyn Rieke. Other speakers included Rickey Gard Diamond, author of Screwnomics and columnist at Ms. Magazine and Kimberly Pierce, producer of The Faces of Aces (a film about the adverse childhood experiences of trauma) and founder of the Vermont Kindness Project.  

Sponsors included Green Saving Smart, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Andrew Perchlik, National Life Group, and EmpowR Transformation.