Recent Comments


    In Memoriam: Peggy Moore and Hope Wood


    By Lisbet Tellefsen–

    On May 10, 2024, beloved Bay Area organizer Peggy Moore and her wife Hope Wood were killed in a tragic car accident in Southern California. As community leaders with decades of service in the Bay Area’s LGBTQ, women’s and Black communities, the shock of this sudden loss is reverberating widely.

    When Peggy moved to the Bay Area from Oklahoma in the mid 1990s, I was burned out from a decade of organizing and producing events in the lesbian of color community. I was determined to never attend another meeting in my life, but Peggy made it her mission to unretire me—and refused to take no for an answer. That began our 30-year friendship and a long chapter of shared organizing efforts. Some of the work of which I’m most proud happened by Peggy’s side. And there are countless others who can say the same.

    Peggy Moore and Hope Wood with their dog at
    Lake Merritt on their wedding day,
    September 1, 2013

    Soon after Peggy’s arrival she became a force in the Bay Area, organizing events and plugging into community organizations, like The Black Girl Collective, NIA, and Lavender Seniors, to name a few. In 2002, she founded Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride, an East Bay Pride march and festival that ran for 10 years in Oakland. Despite our closeness, it’s impossible for me to list all of her numerous community contributions.

    Peggy’s nickname was “The Mayor,” and it was well deserved. Everywhere she went, she was beloved. A quick coffee date or walk down the block would become a 2-hour affair as she would stop and engage with every manner of folk, the majority of whom knew her by name.

    But politics would reveal itself to be her true calling. In 1999, she cut her teeth with the No on Knight campaign—fighting the initiative that aimed to ban same-sex marriage. Over the next 25 years, she would become a force in local and national politics, playing important roles in both the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, running for Oakland City Council, and serving as campaign manager for Libby Schaaf’s successful bid for Mayor of Oakland.

    Peggy Moore speaking at a San Francisco Bay Times benefit for Project Open Hand (2012)

    It was during the 2008 Obama campaign with Organizing for America that she would meet her future spouse, Hope Wood. A powerhouse in her own right, Hope worked with organizations ranging from The Harvard Kennedy School for Leadership, Color of Change, and The Courage Campaign. Hope was a Southern California girl, a former LA Lakers cheerleader no less, and next to the homegirl from Oklahoma, at a surface glance, they appeared to be opposites. But the power generated by their coming together was palpable and they would become a dynamic duo whose impact was felt from Oakland’s City Hall all the way to the White House. In 2013 they would marry and in 2019 they launched their own consultancy, Hope Action Change.

    Congresswoman Barbara Lee wrote in a recent X post: “I’m heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of Peggy Moore and Hope Wood. Peggy was a friend, an activist, and one of the best organizers I knew. Her passion and fight for justice and equality is what brought her and Hope together.”

    She added, “Together they organized, changed hearts and minds, and helped create a world where who you love doesn’t limit your freedoms.”

    On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at 6 pm The East Bay Church held a “Peggy Moore & Hope Wood Community Gathering” that was streamed on their Facebook and YouTube pages. A GoFundMe campaign, “The Peggy Moore & Hope Wood Family Support Fund,” has also been created in their memory.

    Lisbet Tellefsen is an archivist, collector, and curator who is based in Oakland where she curated the Black Panther Museum at the Oakland Museum of California. She is known for her archival and exhibit work based on activist Angela Davis. A current project in development is The Lisbet Tellefsen Papers at Yale University.

    In Memoriam
    Published on May 23, 2024