Rae’Chel is a Bay Area native empowering her own growth through her continual activism within her community. A child of two Oakland-born-and-raised parents, the city has a special place in Stanley’s heart. She remembers what it was like running up and down West Oakland’s streets as a young girl. She also remembers the love she felt from Oakland’s Black community. That same fast heart beat in her chest paired with her sense of community is what makes her so passionate about Bay Area’s youth!

As a writer, Stanley has been expressing herself through poetry since the fifth grade. She has used poetry as a vehicle for her own healing and recently began performing her pieces because she recognizes sharing her story helps others heal. She has performed at several Bay Area slams and has been a featured poet at a community healing event in San Francisco. Just like one of her inspirations, Maya Angelou, Rae’Chel hopes to one day inspire world-change with her poetry.

Stanley is a third-year student at San Francisco State University majoring in child and adolescent development, and minoring in Africana studies. After graduation, she aspires to create a nonprofit in her beloved city of Oakland that focuses on creative healing. As a Black woman, Stanley has experienced the inter-generational trauma plaguing much of the Black community and she hopes creating an accessible space for collective healing will help address such trauma and serve her community. One issue that plagues youth around the world is the lack of resources and spaces to heal and reflect. The Bay Area’s youth are at the center of all her work and she believes aiding in their healing will enrich their bright futures.


“To a Black Girl”

by Rae’Chel Stanley

To a Black girl

The Black girl is silenced,

Told her experiences don’t matter

That her words mean nothing

The Black girls abused,

Used & discarded like children &

Their old Christmas toys

Her body not an object at the

Disposal of men

To the Black girl yelling,

Yet her lips remain pressed together

Her cries heard in her movement

The way she walks with her head down

The Black girl unprotected,

Her brothers forgot what it means

To protect her

Instead they objectify & dehumanize

To the Black girl taught to cover

up bruises

I love you

I love you because you are me

I am you

To a Black girl

You are beautiful because you say so

Say it loud

Use your voice & speak

Speak up for you & your sisters to follow

To the Black queen,

Carry yourself as such

You need not lower your head,

Raise it high for all to see your


To the “my Black is beautiful” woman

Standing before me,

Own it

Regain power of your body

Regain the power to be you

To a Black girl,

From a Black girl just like you