Racial Agency Initiative LLC is a resource for racial justice leadership coaching. As a new start-up founded by Jeanelle Austin, this company seeks to provide people who seek to practice racial justice with a coach to maximize their effectiveness.
Pursuing racial justice with joy is the vision. Encouraging people to practice racial justice within their scope of influence is the purpose. Coaching people to leverage their agency for racial justice is the work.
Initially envisioned October 2017, Jeanelle Austin imagined a service for people who care about the problem of racism, and often find themselves asking the question, “What can I do?” Two years later, this vision has become a reality, officially launching October 2019.
Founder | Director | Coach
Jeanelle Austin is the creator of Racial Agency Initiative, a racial justice leadership coaching company that pursues racial justice with joy. Jeanelle has over fifteen years of experience in facilitating group conversations on race, designing racism and multicultural educational programs, mentoring individuals, and helping institutional leadership think through strategies to take seriously diversity and inclusion integration. She has more than 20 years of public speaking experience and consults and speaks nation-wide on various topics as they intersect with race in America. A native resident of Minneapolis, she volunteers as a caretaker and board member for the George Floyd Global Memorial.
Erica Harris DeValve
2020-2021 RAI Apprentice
Erica Harris DeValve graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with degrees in English and African American Studies (AAS). In Princeton’s AAS department, Erica focused much of her study on the black experience in political and religious spaces. A particular interest in the intersection of race and Christianity in the U.S. led her to theological studies following undergrad. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary with an emphasis on race and Christian ethics. She has experience in local activism and advocacy, with groups focusing on racial justice and prison abolition. Erica’s writing has been published by The Root and Newsweek. Following the completion of her master’s program in 2021, Erica plans to continue to engage in justice work.
2021 RAI Intern
Maude McQuarrie is a rising high school junior from Phoenix, Arizona, who has previously lived in London, England, and Davis, California. She has experience in over eight schools, including Spanish immersion schools, religious schools, international baccalaureate schools, and prep schools. Her experience in diverse environments, as well as ability to adapt to new cultural domains as a result of constant school and residency relocations caused her interest in social and racial justice, which led her to volunteer in George Floyd Square. This volunteer work, where she worked for 612 MASH and the George Floyd Global Memorial, connected her with the Racial Agency Initiative and taught her the basic skills needed to assist RAI. She is currently studying grant research, social media outreach, and the history of racism through her internship and as a personal hobby. A committed anti-racist, Maude plans to continue pursuing social justice work in the future.
The broken “R” represents the brokenness that race has caused in our communities. The pointed “A” represents the pivot point of a lever. Everything depends on the pivot point. True justice is our pivot point. The strong “I” represents the strength(s) we have to take initiative and influence others. Finally, the circles. When we engage our agency for racial justice, we engage within the context of community. The circles around the initials RAI represent the the various communities we belong to as individuals. They do not always intersect, but we still have capacity to influence each of them.