Dr. Rachael Forester provides subject matter expert advice, insight and strategic direction to clients. She oversees complex client engagements, manages projects to completion and designs and facilitates DEI training solutions and assessment services to partners and stakeholders.
Rachael has been doing equity work in higher education for about ten years. Rachael most recently served as the Associate Director of the Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement at UNC Charlotte where she also obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education, focusing on racial equity. Prior to UNC Charlotte, Rachael served as the assistant director for multicultural life and diversity at SUNY Cortland. As a critical whiteness scholar, Rachael’s research includes understanding and deconstructing whiteness to promote racial equity. In 2020, Rachael started a free, international white accountability group to assist white people in doing critical self-work as change agents for racial equity and to assist organizations in creating transformative equity practice to shift policies, practices, procedures and culture. She also serves on a multi-university research team exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ identified students’ experiences within STEM and has published on the topics of activism, LGBTQ+ experiences and race. In addition, Rachael serves as affiliate faculty for both undergraduate and graduate students, where she teaches on social activism, race and racism, and educational leadership. In 2021, Rachael received the Young Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, SUNY Cortland, as a two-time alumni where she received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education and her master’s degree in English as a Second Language.
As a social justice educator, Rachael believes social change occurs through a critical understanding of self as it relates to our dominant and minoritized identities and how those identities are connected to systems of power, privilege and oppression. Her personal philosophy includes being hard on systems and soft on people as she strives to expand participation on the journey towards collective liberation.