Reid Pinckard


Rachel Fox sitting outside Airship Coffee, taken by Reid Pinckard in late April 2023

MEET RACHEL | Rachel Fox is the Founder and Executive Director of NWA GIRL GANG. After the birth of her daughter, Rachel Fox has become dedicated to the fight for inclusion and accessibility that inspired the creation of the NWAGG community and organization. A profile piece written by REID PINCKARD

On a normal weekday Rachel Fox and her husband Scott Kipphut are tag teaming their morning duties. Kipphut is turning on the lights and asking his three young children to wake up, Fox dresses them in suitable attire for school, and either one of them is making lunches in hopes of getting the kids out the door and to the bus on time. 

After they watch the bus drive away, the couple goes back inside their house and get to work on their respective tasks. Kipphut sits in his office with the expectation of working for the next eight hours, and Fox finds wherever she is most comfortable and replies to emails.

This scene is all too familiar for any family with small children, but, for Fox, the fight to get her children out the door in time is not the only battle she is set on winning. As the founder and executive director of the nonprofit NWA Girl Gang, Fox, 39, is advocating for more accessible spaces for people with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

Rachel and her 3 children in their Northwest Arkansas home
Rachel's husband Scott Kipphut and their daughter Eva, in Raleigh NC
Rachel and Scott's 3 children. From left to right: Eva, Elsie, and Ethan

Fox, a New York native with interests in art and marketing, became concerned with disability rights, disability justice, and representation after the birth of her daughter Eva.

Eva, a dancer and student, was born with down syndrome and a congenital heart defect Fox said. Eva quickly became Fox’s muse and helped Fox become acquainted with the disabled and neurodiverse community.

As Fox began to advocate for more representation of people with disabilities in media, she started including Eva in the advertising campaigns she was working on. Despite Eva’s inclusion on Fox’s ad campaigns, other people did not view her as good representation for their company.

Before moving to Bentonville, Fox and her family were living in North Carolina where Eva and her other daughter Elsie were hired as models for a John Deere campaign. This opportunity excited Fox and convinced her that maybe Eva would not have as hard a time gaining opportunities as she initially thought. Unfortunately, after arriving at the shoot, the owners of John Deere pulled Eva from the campaign.

“I wanted to cry,” Fox said.

This was one of the many moments that has pushed Fox to act on behalf of her daughter. “I wanted that representation for Eva,” Fox said. “ This inspired a whole new area of opportunity.” 

Fox began to write about play spaces for disabled and neurodiverse children and started difficult conversations with people who had a hard time understanding that people with a disability deserve to be treated the same as people who are able-bodied or neurotypical.

After coming to Bentonville, Fox and her family experienced a culture shock that took some time getting used to. They noticed that this area was very white, middle class, and corporate. At first sight, there was a clear lack of diversity, so Fox set out to see why this was.

After conversations with different groups of women, Fox noticed how siloed the area was and that there was a clear lack of unity and belonging. 

“I’m going to create a community where Eva can be seen, supported and valued in her community,” Fox said.

NWA Girl Gang is helping to achieve that. This organization originally started from a thought that Fox had about the possibility for a Girl Scouts organization for adults which was inspired by Eva’s experience with her own Girl Scout troop that welcomed her with open arms. 

Eva in Arkansas as a Girl Scout

Through NWA Girl Gang, Fox is not only building spaces for any and everyone to learn and grow, but has created new opportunities and ideas, such as accessibility assessments and the Girl Gang Market, that are now teaching people about what it means to work towards removing barriers to activities and events using least restrictive spaces, a framework that aims to allow anyone no matter their ability, disability, or neuro-differences to access, participate, and engage in the most inclusive of settings.

Fox wants to create an educational model and provide accessibility assessments that can be used by organizers creating community events. Fox and her team hope to hold workshops, trainings, and provide assessments for community leaders, organizers, businesses, and nonprofits that will redefine the meaning of the words inclusive and accessible, for those impacted by disabilities, those that are neurodiverse, and intersecting marginalized identities. 

Amanda Thattanakham and Rachel in 2021 at NWAGG's second market in Downtown Springdale

The Girl Gang Market was created by Fox and NWA Girl Gang as a way to promote representation and equity in entrepreneurship by providing a safe and accessible experience for those to sell their products. "There should be a space where Eva can come and just sell her cupcakes", Fox said. This event has continued to grow and impact the community by demonstrating how accessibility could really work on a physical and psychological scale. 

"It’s always been a priority to make sure that everyone was a part of everything for Rachel", Kipphut said. It is clear that Fox has always been a person that was willing to serve others so they can feel seen and heard.

This want to serve the community has now expanded into the non-profit space. “I want to demystify non-profit work,” Fox said. “I want there to be an opportunity for everyone trying to fight for change in Northwest Arkansas to feel supported. I was so determined to make change happen that I accidentally started a nonprofit! My journey as a nonprofit founder has been very challenging and what I discovered is that the non-profit landscape can be very disheartening”.

Fox has begun to fight for transparency between nonprofits and an end to gatekeeping resources by emphasizing mutual aid efforts and communication between organizations. She hopes that this will provide a safer space for nonprofit leaders and organizations as they continue to grow.

Rachel in 2019 at NWAGG's first anniversary party at Brick & Mortar in Downtown Rogers. Rachel started NWAGG in the Fall of 2018

Rachel and NWAGG Advisors at a 2021 winter market at Heroncrest in Elm Springs

As their kids hop off the bus Fox and Kipphut get ready to resume their roles they began that morning. Someone is making a snack and the other is helping the kids wash up after a long day. Maybe there will be a school meeting that afternoon or a sport that night. Regardless, the two are making sure that everyone is being taken care of. As Fox and Kipphut put their children in bed, there is some time to rest before they resume their duties the next day.

Truthfully, the fight for more inclusive and accessible opportunities for Fox’s daughter is far from over, but just like her everyday duties as a mother she will continue to wake up and make that day better than the last.


Reid Pinckard at the University of Arkansas

Reid Pinckard is a rising junior from Mt. Pleasant, Texas attending the University of Arkansas where they study political science and news/editorial journalism with minors in gender studies and southern studies. They are a queer survivor from the South that is fighting to prevent sexual violence systemically by revolutionizing research, education, and institutions. As an activist, they have founded their own organization, UArk SVPA, and become the Director of Campus Chapters at the Sexual Violence Prevention Association where they have created the first campus chapter fellowship to expand student organizing across the country. They hope to get their masters in public policy and PhD in social policy to continue their work in preventing sexual violence with a focus on the U.S. South.