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Rachel Parsons

Writer - Editor - Educational Consultant


About Rachel

I grew up just north of Detroit, coming of age in the 1990s. Engaging in feminist, racial justice, and anti-war activism during my college years taught me what it meant to be a white kid from one of the U.S.'s most segregated regions. My love of Detroit and a new sense of accountability moved me downtown after graduation, where I served as editor and contributor for a magazine devoted to local politics and culture. This experience, along with my media justice and labor organizing work, woke me up to the power of writing to support, engage, and transform communities from the bottom-up.

My time at the magazine put me in contact with a coalition of youth working against a 75% drop out rate in the city. I was inspired to face education inequity head-on, and in 2007, I was awarded a teaching fellowship in New York City, where I became a high school math teacher. My students taught me a lot about resilience, creativity, and the healing power of laughter; they solidified my belief that listening is always the first step.

After eight years of encouraging young people to be brave and follow their passions, I took my own advice and went on to pursue an MFA in creative nonfiction at Sarah Lawrence College. Since graduating, I've taught writing at Barnard College, Pace University, and the City Colleges of Chicago. I have worked in multiple editing capacities as well: editor-in-chief of LUMINA Vol. XVI: Borders and Boundaries, copyeditor and 2017 Editorial Fellow at GUERNICA, and production editor at Post Road Magazine.

My work is fueled by my commitment to justice and my desire to understand what makes us fully human. I write about education, race, gender, family, parenthood, sexuality, and body politics.  

I continue to work with students across multiple subject areas while parenting my daughter and two cats in Chicago.


“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable ... The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”

James Baldwin



Woman Typing