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Kate  Gerson

Kate Gerson

Founder & CEO of REthinc


Kate Gerson is a powerful advocate for equity in American institutions. With over 25 years racial equity work and education leadership, Kate has emerged as a thought leader widely respected for her ability to translate research into action and data into comprehensible truths. She built a national reputation leading transformational learning experiences at the Standards Institute where teams of professionals  find urgency and information regarding systemic racism in American schools. Read More >

Previously, Kate was a Senior Fellow at the Regents Research Fund, where she led New York State’s academic projects under Secretary John B King Jr., including EngageNY, the first K-12 ELA and math curriculum aligned with high standards. She founded and led UnboundED (the host organization Standards Institute), working at the intersection of racism and learning to shift practice, share information, and build a community of thoughtful folks invested in growing and learning at work. Prior to her work at UnboundEd and New York State, Kate was an Executive Director at New Leaders, the founding principal of a model transfer high school for over-aged and-under-credited students in New York City, and began her career as an award-winning high school English teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools. She is a proud third generation educator and a single mom of two daughters attending New York City public schools. Kate has hosted thousands of people at large scale learning events and provided a model for the kind of granular, detailed thinking needed for change. Her experience working with and training educators and leaders informed her passionate perspective on the orientation towards responsibility and learning required to create the sustainable behavioral and systems changes we know we need.

Kate is the CEO and co-founder of REthinc, a diversity, equity and inclusion firm focused on creating cultural and systems change in organizations while reducing the harm that often occurs as workplaces move through the growing pains of equity work, culture building, and organizational learning. REthinc’s group of practitioners are committed to the deconstruction of systemic racism in the public and private sectors. 

Kate shares the compelling message that the status quo isn’t good enough and that with honesty, courage and community, the change we need is within our grasp. She invites leaders from every field and industry to join the conversation, understand why the details matter and how small decisions can make all the difference. Each time she speaks, her listeners are called to confront their own role in the system and move closer to leading change. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Let's Talk About Race | Kate Gerson

Systematic Racism

High Quality Curriculum

Talk About Race

Bias Behavior

Speech Topics

Instructional Excellence: What Does It Look Like?

In a world so divided around different pedagogical movements and platforms, it is easy to lose sight of our own definition of excellence or rigor in education. Kate will talk to you about your instructional priorities and help enhance everyone’s thinking around the what and how of teaching. She creates safe spaces for educators to check in about their expectations for students and ask themselves whether the environment they provide is sophisticated, challenging and globally competitive for each child.

Finding Ourselves in “Equity”

It is rare now to attend a conference or even a meeting where concerns with “equity” are not raised. This is an exciting and daunting time in which our own role or way forward may be unsure. Kate provides a path into that difficult conversation we all want to have even when we are unsure of how to start or continue. Kate is able to fluidly customize this presentation for companies and communities who are just getting started or for those who are further along on their equity journey.  The key question is what do we each do now?

Integrity, Race & Leadership in 2022

In a culture of wokeness, cancellation, and conflict, we are sometimes hesitant to ask the questions we think we should already know or admit that we’re concerned about moving forward. Too often, conversations about race make intellectual leaps or start in the middle of the conversation. Kate offers a foundational understanding of what DEI work really involves, how to do it in a way that builds community rather than division, and how it can create space for the personal development of each of your staff. There is a way for all of us to move forward together.

Building a Future with Our Schools

For educators seeking to take their “good” schools to “great,” Kate provides concrete pathways for you to move forward with your culture, classrooms, and outcomes. If you are working through new challenges such as changing student populations, changing budgets, or new standards, Kate helps audiences sift through priorities, options, and goals in order to provide classrooms that are alive places thriving with discourse, analysis, and collaboration. As an experienced educator herself and the daughter, stepdaughter, and granddaughter of teachers, she brings a grounded point of view to the real-world challenges we face while aspiring to develop the next generation of learned American citizens.