The Risk It Takes to Bloom: A Discussion with Author Raquel Willis and Bia Vieira

About the Speakers

Raquel Willis is an award-winning author, activist, and media strategist dedicated to Black transgender liberation. She has held groundbreaking posts, including director of communications for Ms. Foundation for Women, executive editor of Out Magazine, and national organizer for the Transgender Law Center. She co-founded Transgender Week of Visibility and Action and currently serves as an executive producer for iHeartMedia's "Outspoken," president of the Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative’s executive board, and a WNBA Social Justice Council member. Her debut memoir, The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation, was released in late 2023 by St.Martin’s Press.

Bia Vieira is CEO of Women’s Foundation California, where she leads the foundation’s work to advance gender, racial and economic justice. She has served the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for more than 20 years, including senior-level positions at the Philadelphia Community Foundation and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. Originally from Brazil, she is a longtime activist in women’s, LGBTQI, Latine, immigrant, and arts and culture issues. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Bia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and anthropology and a Master’s Degree in literature and linguistics, both from Temple University. She is a recognized expert on culture change and gender, racial, and economic justice issues and is a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy. Bia resides with her partner in Oakland, CA.


See more  Michelle Meow Show programs at The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California.

Presented by The Michelle Meow Show and Inforum at Commonwealth Club World Affairs.

Photos courtesy the speakers.

Image - Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis

Co-founder, Transgender Week of Visibility and Action; Executive Producer, "Outspoken" ( iHeartMedia); President, Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative’s Executive Board; Member, WNBA Social Justice Council; Author, The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation

Image - Bia Vieira

Bia Vieira

CEO, Women’s Foundation California—Moderator