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  • Remembering Rachel Willis-Henry

    Rachel was a force to be reckoned with, commanding attention in any space she entered. Rachel cared enough to speak her truth to anyone and everyone that would listen — or even the ones that didn’t want to hear.

    The power, love, and care that she possessed shined upon our whole team during our short time together. She always came with an open heart, ready to learn and receive any information. Rachel’s big heart spread across the team and she made you feel “Fired up and Ready to go” because, in her own words, “she was about that life”.

    She came to our team not only to work but to encourage and fight alongside with us; she was a ”Rider.” Rachel’s faith is what guided her everyday and she was never afraid to be what she called her authentic self. When Rachel walked into the office and immediately smiled she lit up the room and warmed our hearts. She was the kind of person who would say to you, “Don’t ever second guess who and what you bring to the table, just be the best version of you that you want to be.” She always came as her authentic and genuine self, being able to just talk to her and open up was something special. You just knew her compassion and kindness came from a loving spirit. Rachel would say, “I love me and no one will ever define who I am.”

    Rachel was Oakland — she is Oakland. As her memory lives on in all of us in different ways, let’s celebrate her legacy in fighting for Quality education. Looking down on us she would always say, “In this war, there will be casualties — you have to know there will be a time when you have to keep it pushing forward.”

    In honor of her memory, we must KEEP IT PUSHING FORWARD IN THIS WORK!