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Communicating for Impact with Rae Oglesby at UpTogether

This week on the show, we welcome a storyteller with a passion for social justice, equity, and service. That makes her a triple threat with a particularly astute eye on how the stories we tell can unintentionally move to separate us. Rae Oglesby started her career in broadcasting, working at CNN producing stories across Atlanta and South Carolina, before transitioning to non-profit marketing and communications. 

Today, Rae is VP of Communications at UpTogether, a poverty-focused non-profit dedicated to lifting those in underrepresented communities in poverty into the middle class by helping families to invest in themselves. It is a movement, a platform, and most importantly accelerates the initiative that people in historically undervalued communities are taking to improve their lives and to move up together.

“It’s not about us as, as an organization,” says Rae. “It’s not about what we are doing, but it is about the community. It is about our members. We’re very much focused on relationships and not transactions. We understand that we need to take the time to get to know people who we are engaging with. We need to talk to them. We need to also recognize that communication is a two-way street, which means that we need to listen as well.”

This is not a story about charity. It’s a story about empowerment, about allowing communities to stop seeing themselves as others, but as valuable contributors in the effort to lift one another out of poverty. Rae offers powerful insights into how other non-profits might paint a stronger picture of those they serve by communication with intention. We’re honored to have this time with her and to share her story with you this week. 

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (04:40) – About UpTogether
  • (07:32) – Not Charity, Choice
  • (10:57) – Who are we marketing for?
  • (17:02) – Changing the Math on Giving
  • (19:17) – How UpTogether Thinks Differently
  • (23:12) – Perceptions versus Policy
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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