Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle is a writer, academic, activist, and philanthropist whose work focuses on exploring the intersection of race and womanhood and providing tools to empower women and their aspiring accomplices.
When Cargle and her friend Dana took a photo together at the 2017 Women’s March, they only meant to honor feminists Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Gloria Steinem, who had been photographed in a similar raised-fist pose decades earlier. Cargle held a sign that read, “If You Don’t Fight for All Women You Fight for No Women.”
The photo went viral, and Cargle’s digital following — and her reach — grew significantly, and continues to grow as she writes, teaches, and spearheads social ventures that amplify marginalized voices and give power to the disenfranchised. She crowd-funded the Loveland Foundation, which provides free mental health services to Black women and girls. “Wellness is being commodified,” Cargle wrote. “Many celebrated white wellness spaces and women’s empowerment influencers or brands… oddly seem to equate ‘success’ to getting what white men have and wielding that power in the exact same oppressive inhumane way that white men have been doing for generations.”
The Loveland Foundation is under an umbrella of initiatives called the Loveland Group, which invests in QTBIPOC culture, opportunity, education, and access to care. One of those ventures is The Great Unlearn, an online learning platform with resources and critical discourse to help people “unlearn” the stories that enable systems of injustice in place and inspire them to take meaningful action.
Cargle launched a new venture in 2020, Elizabeth’s Bookstore & Writing Center, to amplify and celebrate marginalized voices. Cargle described Elizabeth’s as “a new avenue for people to explore the world through literature that has been written away from the pen of the white, cis, hetero man and gives us a new way to understand the world.”