“Essential reading. Raquel Willis uses her life story as a means to inspire and encourage us to step into our full selves. Deeply engaging with searing honesty and compassion.”
— Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page
Born in the South to a Catholic family, Raquel Willis skyrocketed to national prominence when she spoke at the 2020 Women’s March on Washington in front of over 400,000 people. Her career has been nothing short of groundbreaking: she co-founded the Trans Week of Visibility and Action, won two GLAAD awards for her powerful work spotlighting trans women of color and trans youth, and has held prominent posts as the director of communications for Ms. Foundation for Women and executive editor for Out magazine.
Raquel’s debut memoir, The Risk It Takes to Bloom, “serves as a vital call to action for this era, and a powerful reminder of what it takes to bloom into your most authentic, vibrant self” (Amber Tamblyn, bestselling author of Listening in the Dark). It’s been named one of the Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023 by TIME and W magazine, alongside titles like Barbra Streisand’s hot new memoir and Zadie Smith’s The Fraud.
In engaging, down-to-earth talks, Raquel draws on her unique experience to show how oppression of any group hurts us all—and how we can work together to achieve liberation for everyone. She explains the “three C’s” that can help us cultivate belonging in the workplace or on campus, and offers practical strategies to ensure everyone at your organization can be their true self and do their best work. It doesn’t matter who you are, she says—we can all show up and participate in the fight for true freedom.
“We all have our own journey to figuring out how we’re going to be a part of the change that we want to see,” Raquel tells Lavin. “I like to encourage people to think about what actually resonates with them and use that as a jumping point.”
Watch a Lavin-exclusive video where Raquel explains the three C’s you need to build environments of true DEI:
Lavin’s Teju Cole has been hailed by Salman Rushdie as “among the most gifted writers of his generation.” In his latest book Tremor (out now), the award-winning author of Open City tells the story of Tunde, a West African photography professor on a New England campus, engaging with music, race, and history to explore the passage of time and how we mark it. Tremor has been called a “provocative and profound meditation on art and life in a world of terror” (Kirkus starred review), and a “dazzling performance from one of the most brilliant and singular minds at work today” (Katie Kitamura, Intimacies).