Rachel Raimist

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Rachel Raimist
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Born (1974-05-19) May 19, 1974 (age 48)
Middletown, New York
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma mater
  • University of California
  • University of Minnesota
  • filmmaker
  • television director
  • crunk feminist scholar
  • author
  • professor

Rachel Raimist (born May 19, 1974) is a filmmaker., television director, crunk feminist scholar[1], author and professor. Her work centers the stories of women[2], communities of color[3], digital media-making[4] and hip-hop feminisms.

In 2009, the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis named The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center in her honor, for her work building gender infused gender curriculum, community events, teaching and mentorship of students to develop as digital storytellers and feminist filmmakers.

Early life and education

Raimist was born and raised in Middletown, New York in Orange County[5]. She went to Middletown High School where, at the urging of teacher Fred Isseks, she picked up a camera, made the documentary Garbage, Gangsters and Greed[6], with her fellow students and learned the power of media storytelling.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Television from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997 and immediately began the graduate directing program at UCLA[7]. She graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in Directing in 1999.

Raimist returned to graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2002. She earned a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies and a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies with a minor in American Studies in 2010.

She currently resides in Los Angeles with her children.


Raimist directs scripted television and produces independent docuseries projects and feature-length documentaries while maintaining a faculty position at Elon University where she serves as the academic director of the Elon in Los Angeles campus

While a tenured professor at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Raimist oversaw the I-mag video production and managed the big screen video crew at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Raimist produced, directed and trained college students to direct and film live concert events for national touring acts[8]

She was on the original editorial team that developed and launched Complex Magazine. She has filmed and edited content for many urban culture media outlets and directed the filming of live events for many national rap tours, B-boy/B-girl Summit events and for the World Famous Wake-up Show hosted by Sway and King Tech.

Raimist has taught classes on directing, screenwriting, cinematography, producing, documentary filmmaking, media production, digital storytelling, women of color feminisms, feminist film studies, hip hop feminisms, black feminisms and other related topics at the New York University, Syracuse University, Temple University, University of California, Irvine (UCI), the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (UMN), Macalester College, Carleton College and IFP Minnesota.

Raimist has traveled to thirty countries as a filmmaker and as faculty for Semester at Sea. She has traversed five continents filming in places like Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Myanmar, Vietnam, Chile, Argentina, China, Japan and India.

Television Directing

Rachel Raimist is a writer, producer and director of narrative and documentary content.

Her television directing debut came at the invitation of Ava DuVernay who called her to direct episode 311, "Your Passages Have Been Paid," for her award-winning show Queen Sugar, produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey for Warner Horizon Television for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)[9].

Raimist is an active member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) where she serves on the Latino Committee, Co-Coordinator of Activities and Events for the Women’s Steering Committee[10] and the Special Projects Committee.[11]


Year Show Title
2021 ROSWELL NEW MEXICO (The CW) - episode 306 - TBA
2021 ROSWELL NEW MEXICO (The CW) - episode 305 - TBA
2021 DIARY OF A FUTURE PRESIDENT (Disney+) - episode 202 - TBA
2021 NANCY DREW (The CW) - episode 203 - TBA
2020 ROSWELL NEW MEXICO (The CW) - episode 208 - "Say It Ain't So"
2019 GREENLEAF (OWN) - episode 402 - "Did I Lose You?
2018 QUEEN SUGAR (OWN) - episode 311- "Your Passages Have Been Paid"


Raimist is the co-editor of the first anthology on hip hop feminism Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology (published in 2007 by Parking Publishing). She has published essays in the The Crunk Feminist Collection (published in 2017 by The Feminist Press at City University of New York), edited by Brittney Cooper, Susana M. Morris and Robin M. Boylorn. The collection is a series of essays that originated on the blog The Crunk Feminist Collective, which Raimist is a member of.

Raimist photographed the cover image of Queen Latifah and MC Lyte for Gwendolyn Pough’s Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip Hop Culture and the Public Sphere (published in 2004 by Northeastern University Press). The opening of this manuscript reads, “In Rachel Raimist’s groundbreaking film about women in Hip-Hop, Nobody Knows My Name. This excerpt has been featured as a passage for the English Language AP exam several times.

Raimist has written and photographed for publications including Complex, The Source, Vibe, Urb, The Amsterdam News and Remix magazines.


  1. Raimist, Rachel (2010). "The Pedagogy of Digital Storytelling in the College Classroom". Seminar.net. 6.
  2. Boylorn, Robin (2019). "The Storyteller Project: Digital Storytelling for Women of Color". Liminalities. 15 – via Liminalities.net.
  3. Vasquez Toness, Bianca (June 2, 2005). "B-girl, be you". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved January 2, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Raimist, Rachel (2019). "Press Record: Our (Digital Stories) Matter" (PDF). Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies. 15: 1–6 – via Liminalities.net.
  5. Massouleh, Tara (October 21, 2013). "Raimist teaches film, feminism, creativity". The Crimson White. Retrieved January 2, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Manaugh, Jeff (February 1, 2020). "'It was like a movie': the high school students who uncovered a toxic waste scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. Release, News (September 5, 2019). "Educator Nina Sadowsky to Lead NYU's New Study Away Program in Los Angeles". NYU. Retrieved January 2, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Bursh, Karissa (April 5, 2011). "Film students help with amphitheater show". The Crimson White. Retrieved January 1, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Flanagan, Ben (June 20, 2018). "Alabama professor to direct episode of Oprah-produced show 'Queen Sugar'". Al.com. Retrieved January 1, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Of America, Directors Guild (August 18, 2020). "Best Practices for Working with Fire, Water & Stunts - A Spotlight on the Women of Station 19". Retrieved January 2, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Of America, Directors Guild (January 2020). "DGA Special Projects Committee Members". Retrieved January 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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