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Raquel Willis      

Transgender & Gender-Nonconforming Activist; Executive Editor of "Out" & Former National Organizer for Transgender Law Center

Raquel Willis is an award-winning activist, journalist, and media strategist dedicated to collective liberation, especially for Black trans folks. She is an executive producer with iHeartMedia’s first-ever LGBTQ+ podcast network, Outspoken, and the host of "Afterlives," a podcast centering the lives and legacies of trans folks lost too soon to violence. She is also the author of "The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation."

Willis has held groundbreaking posts, including director of communications for Ms. Foundation for Women, executive editor of Out magazine, and national organizer for Transgender Law Center. She co-founded Transgender Week of Visibility and Action with civil rights attorney Chase Strangio. She is the president of the Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative’s executive board and serves on the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art board.

She published the GLAAD Media Award-winning “Trans Obituaries Project,” in 2022, she executive-produced and hosted “The Trans Youth Town Hall” with Logo. The work was nominated for the GLAAD Awards and won Gold distinction in the Shorty Awards. She was also honored as a 2023 ADCOLOR Advocate.

Her writing has been published in "Black Futures" by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, "Bulgari Magnifica: The Power Women Hold" edited by Tina Leung, "The Echoing Ida Collection" edited by Kemi Alabi, Cynthia R. Greenlee, and Janna A. Zinzi, and "Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019" edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain. She has also written for Essence, Bitch, VICE, Buzzfeed, The Cut, and Vogue.

Willis is a thought leader on gender, race, and intersectionality. She’s experienced in online publications, organizing marginalized communities for social change, non-profit media strategy, and public speaking while using digital activism as a major tool of resistance and liberation.

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