Raquel Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer and media maven dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. She is the Communications Associate for Transgender Law Center, the largest organization in the U.S. advocating on behalf of transgender and gender nonconforming people. She is a part of Echoing Ida, a national Black women’s writing collective, and Channel Black, a media organizing and training arm of the Movement for Black Lives. Recently, she was a speaker at the National Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Raquel is also the host of the BGD Podcast, discussing pop culture and current events from an intersectional lens and The Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle.
Born and raised in Augusta, GA, Raquel Willis has a loving mother who supports her in all of the work that she does. She is also the youngest child in her family and has a sister, a brother, two nieces and three nephews. She credits the passing of her late father as the catalyst for her transition and career. Raquel is a thought leader on gender, race and intersectionality.
Raquel began her career as a news reporter in Monroe, GA. She quickly took her talents for storytelling, writing and advocacy to the digital world and began to uplift grassroots organizing efforts in Atlanta, CA. She worked on behalf of the Solutions Not Punishments Coalition to end police profiling of transgender women of color and mass incarceration. She worked with others on a campaign to implement a pre-arrest diversion program in Atlanta.
She also successfully led the local Trans Liberation Tuesday mobilization effort in conjunction with the larger Black Lives Matter network. Her dedication to trans advocacy opened the door to her current work at Transgender Law Center in Oakland, CA. Raquel commands a major social media presence for her analysis on identity, current events and politics. Raquel is experienced in many fields including online publications, grassroots organizing, non-profit media strategy and public speaking, but uses digital activism as a major tool of resistance and liberation.