Photo on Penguin Random House
Photo on The Lily

Rachel Cargle

Writer / Activist


Writer / Activist









What makes Rachel Cargle a Global Shaker?

Sweet-spoken firebrand Rachel Cargle is a public academic and writer. Her work explores the intersection of race and womanhood — two things, she says in a popular Tedx talk, that she “certainly didn’t choose, but affect how I maneuver through the world every day.”

She counts over 315,000 followers across her social media channels, who become active participants as she “guides conversations, encourages critical thinking and nurture meaninful engagement.”

Cargle has been featured by publications such as the Washington Post and The New Yorker, with the latter covering a campaign she launched called Therapy for Black Women & Girls — which pooled donations to pay for the therapy bills of other black women. In 2018, Cargle raised more than a quarter of a million dollars through the progamme.

She came to public attention in 2017, when a photo of her at the Women’s march went viral. Standing next to a friend, both with a placard and a fist raised to the sky, Cargle’s sign called out:

“If you don’t fight for ALL women / You fight for NO women”

She built on this with a piece in Huffington Post, explaining how the event changed her activism “forever”. “Every day I wake up knowing that conversations around social justice and activism will be asked of me,” she wrote. “Here I am living in this intersection of black and woman and steering my ship through murky waters in an attempt to be a part of the solution in a way that allows my whole self to be free, heard and accounted for with respect in this country.”

Cargle set up and is CEO of Proof Speakers, an “all women’s speakers collective” which curates a collective of bright, innovative and captivating women to provide professional speaking services to organisations, college campuses and conferences across the country.

In her Tedx talk, she sets out how to grapple with the ramifications of the complications of race today. “Until Black people no longer have to deal with the consequences of what our ancestors went through, I will continue calling for accountability to white people who are still resting in the benefits of racist system that was set up for them,” she tells the audience.

“Unless you are actively part of turning this country into one that is anti racist, then you’re comfortably resting on that privilege, whether you’re aware of it or not.” She points out data from 2014, which says that Black people with college degrees are as likely to be hired as white people who dropped out of high school.

In a conversation on Harpers Bazaar, with womanist scholar EbonyJanice Moore, Cargle listened to the comment that Black women “don’t even particularly get to dream themselves free for real, because we’re so busy fighting…everything.”

She responded in a typically powerful way. “Fighting the system. I think about that a lot. Who would we be if we weren’t just trying to survive?”

Tags: Activism, Diversity and Inclusion, Female Empowerment, feminism, identity, Race, social activism, Social Justice, USA

Last updated: February 26, 2020