Activist and Award-Winning Writer Raquel Willis Is Stepping Up for Change

Activist and Award-Winning Writer Raquel Willis Is Stepping Up for Change

Direction and editing by Annie Bercy

This article is a sponsored collaboration between SOREL and PAPER

Through her own story and work, Raquel Willis is dedicated to elevating the experiences and livelihoods of Black transgender people across the nation. After founding Black Trans Circles, a project that creates healing justice spaces to work through anti-trans violence and oppression-based trauma for Black trans women in the South and Midwest, Willis has since entered her current role as the Director of Communications at the Ms. Foundation.

Willis tells PAPER and SOREL, "I think particularly for Black trans people, we fall through the cracks in social justice movement spaces, so it was important to figure out ways we could convene together, be able to articulate the violence that is happening within our communities, but also come up with solutions for safety, support and solace."

As the second in PAPER's four-part video series with SOREL spotlighting Black changemakers who're stepping up (to inspire, educate, change and unite), watch how Willis is changing the way forward for Black trans women. "We need to stay in this fight," Willis says. "To make sure that everyone who needs to come through the door can do so. We need to be empowering Black trans people to see ourselves as our own leaders."

Direction and editing: Annie Bercy


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Story by Andrew Nguyen / Photography by Diego Villagra Motta / Styling by Angelina Cantú