Rachel's half-day implicit bias training, which she did for our full staff at our annual retreat, was a huge success. We learned not only about bias and the power dynamics associated with difference, but also about ourselves personally and as a workplace. Her workshop sparked an unprecedented level of open and honest discussion and reflection among our staff. She also kept our staff fully engaged throughout the entire half-day training- no small feat for a training that begins after lunch. The staff left the workshop with the seeds of concrete ideas for how to move forward. Rachel also gave us helpful suggestions for next steps. I highly recommend Rachel to any organization or entity that is serious about challenging bias in their workplace and work.
Keith Laughlin, President
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, DC
Rachel has a way of walking the line to both agitate with authority and credibility and still make people feel that she is one of them.
Rabbi Joshua Caruso
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, Beachwood, OH
My students referred to Rachel’s talk for the rest of the course, and many of them seemed genuinely moved and changed by what she shared. That’s the power of Rachel’s words and honesty – her sincerity resonates and encourages others to do the courageous work of self reflection. I believe that in the next few years, Rachel will be a major, trusted voice in the work of undoing racism and uncovering white privilege and bias. We need people like her more than ever.
Assistant Professor Natalie Bullock Brown
St. Augustine's College, Raleigh, NC
The workshop helped our staff appreciate how much they might not be seeing in terms of racial dynamics that play out daily in our school and in their daily lives and led to important discussions about where we need to shine a light and develop better structures. It also created a welcoming space for our staff of color to share their own experience of race with our white staff and for our white staff to share their feelings about privilege and racism.
Assistant Principal Diedre L. Neal
Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC
I enjoyed your speaking engagement and found that it raises the consciousness and brought about the necessary conversation that needs to take place in the city and in the nation. It is important to get past and understand how everyone feels and your speech did just that.
Alderman Walter Burnett Jr.
27th Ward, Chicago, IL
Rachel Laser came before our congregation and not only spoke her truth, but she brought one of the most important truths of our time to light: the dangers of living in privilege, of confusing sympathy for black Americans with genuine action for justice. Laser masterfully weaved personal testimonial, warmth and humor with an inspirational call to awaken from our ignorance and complacency, to live up to our highest ideals, and to recognize the sacredness and worthiness of all human beings. Laser is a teacher for our times, a voice that must be heard in all the privileged corners of our nation.
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC
Rachel Laser’s remarks on white privilege challenged my perspective on social injustice and provided insight on an age-old problem that must be confronted. While acknowledging white privilege is a step in the right direction, we must hold ourselves accountable in challenging our preconceived notions regarding the black experience and our place in culture. I’m extremely encouraged by Ms. Laser’s work and believe it will have an impact that will break down racial and social barriers that have been in place for far too long.
Michael Jones, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
This eye-opening experience allowed me to see that some White people, who by circumstance don’t holistically understand the modern day black struggle, would be certainly willing to have these discussions. As a black man in America, I fully understand the details that contribute to why we see social injustice in this country. Minority groups have always had the burden of skin color playing a defining role in their success, perception, and opportunity. In this safe space I used the platform to assure that those within the group understood that America's past, one trenched in racial turmoil, is solely to blame. In doing so I realized that it is of a great responsibility for more black people to join in on workshops like Rachel’s. I firmly believe we will see real sustainable progress when the fight truly ends and the healing process can for once fully take place.
Holy Trinity School, Washington, DC
Rachel Laser taught "White Privilege" to my University of Maryland classes in the Spring and Fall semesters in 2016 ('Inequality in America' and 'Introduction to Contemporary Social Problems'). Each time she gave a presentation and then led the class in lively discussion. The students found her talks eye-opening and she skillfully bridged the gap between opposing sides on divisive issues. She is invited to teach my future classes and I recommend her highly.
Dr. Yan Yu
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Throughout this school year, I am most proud of the formation of the Diversity Task Force (DTF), which Rachel facilitated and helped create. When we started the DTF, all we knew was that we wanted to figure out concrete and measurable goals to bridge the achievement and well-being gap at Wilson. Each month, Rachel and I met to figure out an agenda that would ensure a productive and forward-moving meeting and she brought fresh ideas and models from other schools for me to consider. In our early meetings, we discussed bias, the definition of racism and white fragility in way that laid a fertile and receptive foundation for our work to come. At many meetings, I used current Wilson data to highlight some inequality, and students who were affected by these inequalities spoke about their pain. Within six months, this committee was so focused on a goal that we could not prevent them from trying to “do something.” I am hopeful that what we are doing will move Wilson towards our goal. I am certain that the process we are using has tremendous merit and I have asked Rachel to stay with us for another year. With Rachel’s help, I have also been reflecting on how my own background, experiences and perspectives have impacted the school change process. If you too are committed to concrete and measurable change in your workplace, I highly recommend Rachel to work with your school, company or organization.
Principal Kim Martin
Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, DC