The movement for social justice for me became clear in third grade, at Madie Ives Elementary School in Florida when the mother of an eight-year-old named Kelsey attempted to integrate my thus far segregated elementary school. At the time, the parents in our school did what parents throughout the south — and sometimes in the north — did: They went on strike. They refused to send their children to a school that would be integrated. For two weeks, Kelsey, I, and one other student, a Latina, sat in a sweltering cafeteria, with no other students, left to ponder what was going on — trying to make sense of it all.
And so was confirmed for me a lifelong disquiet, a slow burn, around fairness, compassion, justice … for all.
Fifty years after sitting in that hot cafeteria with Kelsey and Nereida, I know this much to be true: Justice is a long arc that requires a long view. Change doesn’t just happen; it’s fought for. And progress is far from linear — it’s followed by setbacks.
It’s been the guiding frame from which The Raben Group was born.
This year, our firm celebrates our 20th year.
For 20 years, we have demonstrated that positive impact and business are not mutually exclusive. We’ve placed ourselves in a form of client services that is mindful of profit, but where the priority question is impact and effectiveness. We’ve served thousands of clients who share our passion for building a more just, humane, and equitable future.
And what a ride it’s been! We’ve helped hundreds of nominees — judges, cabinet secretaries, even Supreme Court Justices — navigate the gauntlet of the Senate confirmation process; we have led the campaign to create a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino; we supported the launch of the modern-day gun safety movement; and so much more.
We believe power should look like, think like, and sound like the totality of America, so we work to shift power toward communities that are often overlooked. We believe raw talent is equally distributed among all people, so we create opportunities and systems to ensure historically marginalized people flourish.
We believe all sectors can and should play a role in bettering our society, so we engage with government, civil society, and private industry.
As the founder, I’m proud that our firm has helped shape outcomes that will constitute history. As a singular team member of a group of more than 100 changemakers, I am constantly in awe of the courageous fights that my colleagues have led.
To you, I say: It is an honor and a privilege to work and learn alongside you all, each and every day.
I invite you all to explore the breadth of the work and the story of The Raben Group via our commemorative 20th-anniversary site — built as testament to both our present and our future.
May you all join us in shaping our next chapter.