35 min

How Activist Raquel Willis Found Her Voice and Power At Liberty

    • News

On January 21, 2017, a day after the inauguration of former President Donald Trump, activist and journalist Raquel Willis approached the podium at the inaugural Women’s March in Washington, D.C. to share her story at what became one of the largest single-day marches in U.S. history. With this momentous platform, Willis was determined to galvanize the crowd to support liberation for all women, namely Black trans women like herself.

Not even three minutes into her speech, after calling out the erasure of trailblazing women of color from feminist history, Willis’ microphone was cut off. Unfortunately, this silencing was something that she knew all too well through her work in supposedly progressive movements and newsrooms. This experience only fueled her fire to make intersectionality the baseline of all liberation efforts.

Willis has made waves in her work as the former executive editor of Out Magazine and national organizer for the Transgender Law Center, demonstrating her dedication to uplifting the voices of transgender people of color. In her new memoir, “The Risk It Takes To Bloom: On Life and Liberation,” her voice takes center stage. The book explores Willis’ history and journey with identity, education, grief, community, and remembrance. Her recount honors not only her past and present, but that of the trans community worldwide. Today, Willis joins our host, Kendall Ciesemier, to shed light on her story and vision for the future of liberation.

On January 21, 2017, a day after the inauguration of former President Donald Trump, activist and journalist Raquel Willis approached the podium at the inaugural Women’s March in Washington, D.C. to share her story at what became one of the largest single-day marches in U.S. history. With this momentous platform, Willis was determined to galvanize the crowd to support liberation for all women, namely Black trans women like herself.

Not even three minutes into her speech, after calling out the erasure of trailblazing women of color from feminist history, Willis’ microphone was cut off. Unfortunately, this silencing was something that she knew all too well through her work in supposedly progressive movements and newsrooms. This experience only fueled her fire to make intersectionality the baseline of all liberation efforts.

Willis has made waves in her work as the former executive editor of Out Magazine and national organizer for the Transgender Law Center, demonstrating her dedication to uplifting the voices of transgender people of color. In her new memoir, “The Risk It Takes To Bloom: On Life and Liberation,” her voice takes center stage. The book explores Willis’ history and journey with identity, education, grief, community, and remembrance. Her recount honors not only her past and present, but that of the trans community worldwide. Today, Willis joins our host, Kendall Ciesemier, to shed light on her story and vision for the future of liberation.

35 min

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