Rachel is a conscious social influencer who is passionate about racial equity, Black life, women’s rights, foster care/adoption, and holistic wellness. By profession Rachel is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department head within the Tech Sector and Managing Partner- Programming and Relationships, for Diversified, a boutique DEI consulting firm. It is not by coincidence that Rachel’s passion for people and heart for culture has led her to a career that speaks to who she is and what she believes. Through her popular social platforms and various contributor positions, Rachel speaks out against racial injustice and advocates most commonly for the lives of all Black people.
Why is your business a business to watch in 2021?
Diversified is a boutique consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, corporate programming, and the building of equitable organizations. We believe that understanding and celebrating diversity at work leads to the production of tangible results for employees, consumers, and communities. The heart of diversity is a celebration of what makes each of us unique. Our team of consultants not only bring years of DEI work to the table, but each has a speciality and extensive professional background. From HR, Tech, and Media to Education, Non-Profit Sector, and Sales we are equipped with consultants that actually know your story personally. Our backgrounds are a beautiful reflection of why WE STAND OUT.
What inspired your to start your business?
Being a Black woman in tech, I learned first hand how difficult it can be for women of color specifically to advance in corporate America. I birthed Diversified with two women who had an identical story in a totally different field. We knew that our lived in experiences and our knowledge of how to truly shape equitable culture was something every organization needed. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion should be the heartbeat of every business, I am inspired by the possibilities of a new corporate environment for every underrepresented identity.
What kind of impact do you want your business to leave on your client or customer?
I want my business to influence change not only in the companies or organizations we work with but in the people. This work requires self reflection and inspires growth. I always want the impact of what we do to be carried into the world by every person we are able to guide and partner with.
Do you feel your product or service meets the needs of the market?
Diversified’s services not only meet but exceed the needs of the market. Armed with a variety of experience, we are able to make greater impact as a team.
What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do?
My children. As an adoptive mother of 3- I wake up every single day with the intention to do something that will make their paths easier. I want to invoke change that they can feel and see as they grow.
What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both)
I am most passionate about impacting Black life in all areas. My life goal is to be a leader that aids in the dismantling of systems of oppression and the building of equity.
What are the goals that you hold personally?
As an organization owned by 3 Black women, it is our goal to create a recognizable name and brand that truly resonates with people everywhere. We would like to build our business past a B2B model and truly influence masses through more than consultation and training. Products that support this work are what we are developing and hope to market soon. Personally I want to continue to build my platform and be a leading voice for the growth and justice of Black people.
Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them.
I am deeply influenced by Shirley Chisholm, Maxine Waters, Angela Davis, Angela Rye, and Tamika Mallory. For each of them, I am inspired by their unapologetic and authentic voice. They never back down and always require others to make room for them in their fullness despite any opposition or discomfort. I am also influenced by both of my business partners and friends, Raleshia Brumfield and Ayeshia Toy. We have a beautiful and reciprocal relationship and they both remind me that our purpose is our qualification. I am honored to walk this journey with them and always inspired to show up with and for them.
Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them.
I grew up in the South Suburbs of Chicago. The area I grew up in was considered an affluent and predominantly Black community, however, I was no stranger to the systemic disadvantages that plagued, and continues to plague the inner city of Chicago. As an adult I began to take inventory of my own encounters and realized just how many times I had been faced with racism and even exposed to remnants of systemic oppression within my education. For example, in high school I had a history teacher that re-enacted slavery as a part of a lesson. Simulating the experience of being on a boat by blindfolding us and linking us together with ocean music and narratives in the background. As a kid I didn’t realize just how inappropriate and traumatic this was, which proved to me how deeply ingrained mentailies and ideologies can become for all of us. Recalling experiences like this one fuel me for this work. The truth is racism, discrimination, and prejudice show up no matter where you may live. It takes work to be able to see it, admit it, and change it.
What’s next for you in your business/brand?
What can readers look forward to from you? We are experiencing growth with the partners we are working with, such as Van Jones’ DreamCorps and more.