During this season of my life I am incredibly fortunate to be the steward and occupant of Hickory Hall, an off-grid 1870s log cabin in rural northern Alabama, owned by my good friend Lawrence. I met Lawrence in 2018 when we were both organizing with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. When pandemic isolation was weighing heavy on my spirit, he graciously offered me Hickory Hall as a port in the pandemic storm. Lawrence has wild curly white hair, a mischievous sense of humor, and a huge heart.

He’s also a bricoleur. According to Janisse Ray…

Twice in the past week I have been in spaces where a white woman has pointed out the role of implicit bias in intuition. This is true, and I’m glad we’re working to engage with that truth more directly. As I once heard Congresswoman Maxine Waters advise, it is wise to investigate and examine our instincts, impulses, and intuition. I also wonder how many of us (white women) are distorting this wise question and internalizing a belief that we cannot trust our intuition because it is inherently, implicitly biased. …

Illustration from ‘Literacy and Liberation’
by Septima P. Clark
Originally published in Freedomways, 1st Quarter, 1964

I continue to be rocked by Sheryl Petty and Mark Leach’s Change Elemental monograph, Systems Change & Deep Equity: Pathways Toward Sustainable Impact, Beyond “Eureka!,” Unawareness & Unwitting Harm.

I have been especially reflecting on what Sheryl Petty describes as “Eureka!” or “Columbus” moments in the systems change field:

That is, “discoveries” of “new” approaches that were already decades-long practice in the equity field, and perhaps millennia old in some cultures and places. These approaches are often appropriated, re-packaged, marketed, and sold as “novel.” …

Why do we need to give up sending love and light? Because too often this is a response that is used to project individual pathology on to systemic oppression.

To My Fellow Well-Meaning White Ladies,

I think it’s time to consider retiring the phrase “sending you love and light”. So many of us are using it in a tone-deaf, un-self-aware, harmful way that I think it would behoove all of us to just let this phrase go.

Too often this is a response that is used when we are projecting individual pathology on to systemic oppression. Good lord, what does that even mean? This looks like a BIPOC person sharing the suffering they are experiencing as a result of systemic or institutional violence/harm/injustice. And because we as white people…

This piece was originally written on the night of November 13th, 2019.

I spent the evening of November 13th, 2019 with Jimmie, Sylvia, Arrie, Lizzie, Carolyn, Dorothy, & Kerwyn in Gadsden county. Gadsden county is Florida’s only majority African American county and one of its most disinvested & least healthy as a result. I drove the thirty minutes from Tallahassee to the public library in Quincy to offer a training on crowdfunding, and get feedback — would crowdfunding be helpful in their community? What did they think of ioby (the nonprofit organization I was representing)? I offered this training as…

Roc Rochon, Rachael Reichenbach, and Taylor Biro Originally Published on October 23rd, 2020 in the Tallahassee Democrat

It’s difficult for us to understand the city’s intentions behind “Tallahassee All Together — A Race Relations Summit.” On the surface, the effort made to produce this event indicates a willingness to have a meaningful, community-wide conversation about race. However, to those familiar with anti-racism culture and practice, the city has taken a meek, political approach to address this critically important topic.

By failing first to pursue reckoning — an acknowledgement of and accountability for past harm and a concerted effort towards healing…

A white woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a flower-print camisole holds an orange marker and gazes at a white flip chart with indeterminate green writing.

How can each of us invest who we truly are in service of caring for & supporting our community? Not who we think we should be, or what our sense of guilt, perfectionism, & obligation compels us to be. Rather deeply asking ourselves, what do I do, & how do I offer that in this moment?

For those of us who embody an ethos of community care, who feel in our bones a calling to care for one another, times like these deeply trigger our urgent sense of, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ …

“The process of healing the brokenness, the broken-heartedness within ourselves, is the foundation for beginning to heal that in our larger society. We cannot have a healed society, we cannot have change, we cannot have justice if we do not reclaim and repair the human spirit. We simply cannot.” - angel Kyodo williams

It is essential to ground before we grow. Similar to the notion that we cannot be activated if we are identifying with our suffering, we cannot give to or do for others if we are not re-sourced. Literally restored by source and reconnected to source (universe, spirit…

In this time of simultaneous whole system, multi-system transformation we are called to vulnerability & courage in all facets of our lives if we are to skillfully & effectively resist that which harms us & reimagine the world that we want.

The word ‘Resist’ may bring to mind certain associations. Things like people taking to the streets or occupying spaces or ‘The Resistance’, an American political movement that rose up following the 2016 election, that focused on traditional tactics such as advocacy and voter mobilization to engage in electoral politics and legislative issues.

For sure, these tactics belong. Our movement…

Rachael Reichenbach

I am a consultant & facilitator in the Deep South dedicated to collective liberation, rooted in systems thinking and deep equity.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store