Chanin Kelly-Rae is the Founder and CEO of Chanin Kelly-Rae Consulting, a Diversity Management firm that specializes in Organizational Equity Assessments & Strategic Planning, Meeting Facilitation, Training and Learning Experiences, Policy Development, Speaking and Executive Coaching.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chanin was raised in a large family by accomplished parents who were themselves survivors of the Jim Crow era in Mississippi. They instilled family values of service to society, fortitude, and tenacity. Raised to prize education and community, she discovered early on that bridging social and cultural gaps was her gift.
As a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practitioner with more than 20 years of experience, Chanin is a respected and highly sought-after expert in her field. She began her professional life as a public-school educator in one of the most segregated cities in America. What she witnessed and experienced daily impacted the path she would take of positioning kids and families to be their own best advocates.
Chanin leverages a lifetime of lessons, pain and joy to fuel one of her life’s purposes: to help marginalized people gain access to transformative opportunities that will allow them to fully realize all that is possible for their lives. This momentum moved her out of the classroom and into corporate boardrooms.
“Build Nothing for Them, Without Them…” Chanin’s own Golden Rule, whether in business or life. A gifted storyteller, Chanin conducts life changing work where clients leave feeling trusted, valued, respected and inspired. Her unique approach is not to lecture the client but to engage them in deliberate and intentional dialogue. Using data points and the lived experiences of stakeholders, she takes clients from gap to goal with measurable and sustainable growth.
Service is a family tradition. “My family has always believed in the power of living our values and nurturing our community.” Along with her husband and 3 school-aged teens, Chanin’s community is now rooted in her adopted hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Philanthropy is a way of life. Giving has always been mandatory in her family and serves as the driving force for her participation in several social, cultural and professional organizations that allow for her family to continue the tradition of meaningfully investing in the community.
What warms her heart most is when she hears from former students or clients about how they have now become change agents, dreaming bigger, and empathizing with someone different than themselves.
Ultimately, Chanin has made it a goal to put herself and others like her out of business. She wants to help create a world where conversations around disparities and disparate outcomes are a thing of the past. To get to a time where the diversity of who you are will not be the reason you get an opportunity, but it also will not be the reason you are denied. That is when she will fulfill another dream, which is to operate a concession truck that she will park next to a playfield and serve popcorn to young kids still full of wonder, potential and hope.