Terry Keleher

Director of Strategic Innovations


Terry Keleher is the Director of Strategic Innovation at Race Forward. Terry has 35 years of experience working on racial justice and social change as a consultant, strategic coach, trainer, writer, researcher, curriculum designer, and community organizer.

As a racial equity consultant, Terry has worked with leading non-profit organizations, government agencies, philanthropic institutions, arts and culture organizations, worker associations, academic institutions, and community groups around the country. Clients have included the National Education Association, National ACLU, the Boston Public Health Commission, MoveOn, Chicago Community Trust, Philanthropy New York, and the University of Chicago. Terry has designed and led racial justice trainings, webinars, and workshops involving thousands of participants from hundreds of organizations.

Terry has authored many reports and resources including: Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide; Leadership & Race; Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit; Racial Equity Core Teams; Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your School; Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in U.S. Public Schools; the Illinois Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity; and the Green Equity Toolkit.

Terry’s writings have appeared in Colorlines, Clearinghouse Review, Critical Issues Forum, Leadership Magazine, Poverty & Race Journal, Shelterforce, Southern Exposure, Yes! Magazine, and other publications. Terry has been quoted in many leading media sources such as The Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, New York Public Radio, and Huffington Post.

Terry has served on the Advisory Committee and faculty of the Racial Justice Institute of the Shriver Center on Poverty La; the Racial Equity and Inclusion Experts Panel of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and the national leadership of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a network of white people organizing for racial justice. Terry served as a Racial Healing Practitioner for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and a coach with the Windcall Institute. Terry served on the Illinois Editorial Forum and the Human Relations Advisory Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s GO TO 2040 Plan; worked as a community organizer with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth; was a co-founder of the National Organizer’s Alliance; coordinated the ERASE Initiative on school equity, provided expert testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and was a national recipient of the Push for Excellence in Education Award.

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