Terry Keleher

Thought Leadership and Practice Specialist


Terry Keleher is the Thought Leadership and Practice Specialist at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and a contributing writer at Colorlines, the online daily news site where race matters. He has served as a consultant to many leading social justice organizations and government agencies, and is a sought-after presenter and trainer, featured at conferences and events around the country

He has authored several reports and educational resources on racial equity and systems change, including Leadership & Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, the Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit, Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in U.S. Public Schools and the Illinois Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity. His writings have appeared in the Clearinghouse Review, Critical Issues Forum, Yes! Magazine, Upworthy and other publications.

 He coordinated the ERASE Initiative on education equity, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was a national recipient of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s Push for Excellence in Education Award. He has served as a lead presenter of Race Forward’s Racial Justice Webinar Series.

 He currently serves on the Racial Equity and Inclusion Experts Panel of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the faculty of the Racial Justice Training Institute of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and has served in leadership of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a national network of white people organizing for racial justice. He previously served on the Illinois Editorial Forum and the Human Relations Advisory Committee for the 2040 Chicago Regional Plan. He also worked as a community organizer with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and was a co-founder of the National Organizer’s Alliance.

 He is a certified executive coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and the Results Management Program of Results/Support Seminars. Terry is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He is the proud father of an awesome son.