Rachel Bagby

Rachel is an advisor and instigator of cultural change, directing her work through poetry, music, and civil empowerment. She serves as a facilitator and leadership consultant for the Rockwood Leadership Institute, and for Cultivating Women’s Leadership. Rachel helps guide participants through practices that dramatically increase their capacity to be bold and effective leaders in our world of diverse cultures and tumultuous change. She supports a diverse expanse of people from around the world to find their inherent leadership strengths, and empowers them to lead from within.

Rachel’s work as a vocal artist and composer has earned her acclaim from audiences and critics worldwide. As a member of Bobby McFerrin’s a cappella vocal group “Voicestra,” Rachel practiced the art of dynamic singing and performed on numerous nationally syndicated television and radio programs. She has since used Voice Blessings® and Dekaaz Facilitation®, two self-developed tools, to inspire transformational outcomes and translate words into highly-leveraged action

Voice Blessings®, practiced by Rachel since 2002, is a combined tool and workshop, empowering women who want to use their voices as a blessing, for the benefit of everyone around them – preparing for and during birth, at church, at hospice, in the classroom, in the seventeenth story corner office suite, leading global campaigns, and everywhere in between. Over the course of 5 sessions, Rachel facilitates the learning of techniques to enrich your voice before presentations & speaking engagements, command attention as an intrinsic leader, and experience the pleasure of opening your voice, heart & whole body to SPEAK.

Rachel also established the practice of dekaaz, a poetry form which hones large amounts of information into ten syllables of sharable wisdom. Using dekaaz at community gatherings, corporate retreats, or leadership trainings, Rachel teaches participants to listen with “wisdom ears” open, and bring about collaborative change through art.

In 1993, Rachel produced FULL, her debut full-length release of original chantsongs. Her music is featured in the Emmy-award winning film Dialogues with Madwomen and the acclaimed documentaries The Way Home and Alice Walker: Visions of the Spirit. Her publishing company, Breathing Music, widely distributes her choral arrangements, including Daughterwise Suite, a collection of songs about the joys and challenges of caring for aging parents.

Throughout Rachel’s rich and varied career, social/environmental activism has always played an integral role. In 1977, she helped her mother create a community service organization that planted 40 neighborhood gardens, rehabilitated 70 houses, and designed a shared house for elders, students and single mothers. She later served as the Associate Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University, where she conducted extensive research on women’s leadership in social and ecological justice movements and began giving keynote speeches across the United States about her findings. More recently, she founded Singing Farm, a solar-powered, certified organic learning community in central Virginia. Her music, writing and activism seek to cultivate restorative relationships between nature and culture.

Rachel has worked all over the world with thousands of people devoted to bringing their voices to life. Her teaching draws on mindfulness practices, her dynamic personal experiences, and her JD in Law and Social Change from Stanford Law School. Rachel gives keynote addresses, conducts trainings in mindfulness and daughterwise eldercare, and offers voice blessings—vibralingual practices and performances that use the voice to embody resonant wisdom—to organizations and individuals.

Selected Publications

Rachel is the author of Divine Daughters: Liberating the Power and Passion of Women’s Voices, a collection of poetry, essays, fiction, music manuscripts and memoir. She has also written for The Wall Street Journal, Time, Ms. Magazine, Women of Power, and other periodicals, anthologies and literary journals. Much of her writing focuses on the powers of women’s collective voices and the healing capacity of cultivating our individual voices.

Learn more about Rachel on Wikipedia.