Statement on the Passing of former City Council Member At-Large Rysheema Dixon

Friday, September 16, 2022

Statement on the Passing of former City Council Member At-Large
Rysheema Dixon

Rysheema Dixon served as Council Member At-Large from January 2017 to January 2022.
Photo Courtesy of Saquan Stimpson, Digital Media & Web Content Coordinator for WITN22.

Wilmington, DE – The City of Wilmington is mourning the loss of former City Council Member Rysheema Dixon. Wilmington City Council issued the following statement on the passing of the City’s At-Large advocate.

“On remembering our friend and longtime colleague, we are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Rysheema Dixon. As a former At-Large City Council member, educator, community activist, and business entrepreneur, Rysheema had an incredible impact on our city. She was a tireless community champion who continuously went above and beyond for her city since first being elected to the Council in November 2016 and again in November 2020. As the city’s youngest and first African American woman in the At-Large seat, Rysheema’s passion for serving others, diversifying Wilmington, and improving the quality of life for all citizens will not be forgotten. Our deepest condolences go to Rysheema’s family and all those she touched throughout her remarkable life. We will never forget Rysheema’s contributions to making Wilmington the best it can be.” 

The City of Wilmington’s flag located in front of the Louis L. Redding City County building is flown at half-staff in honor of Rysheema Dixon.

City Council member At-Large Rysheema Dixon resigned from Wilmington City Council in January 2022. She shared that it was a rewarding experience to serve on the 107th and 108th sessions of Wilmington City Council, and an honor and privilege to serve the residents of the City of Wilmington.

Rysheema’s work for Wilmington’s community started long before she was a politician. From 2009 to 2011, she served two terms of service in Public Allies Delaware, an AmeriCorps program of the University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service. Her efforts were focused primarily on the Southbridge area where she worked with Wilmington HOPE Commission, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, Neighborhood House, Elbert-Palmer Elementary School, South Wilmington Planning Network, and other nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in the Southbridge neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware. While serving as an elected official, she also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware teaching Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship for the University’s Horn Entrepreneurship program.

In 2011, Rysheema founded RD Innovative Planning, a community development consulting business. As the Chief Executive Officer and President, she worked with nonprofit organizations and provided personal coaching for entrepreneurs. RD Innovative Planning managed the Wilmington Play Streets summer program on behalf of Christiana Care Health System, which temporarily closed a neighborhood block to traffic and provides play equipment to create safe, fun, and healthy spaces for children, families, and neighbors to connect and play right outside their doors.

During her two terms as council member at-large, Rysheema served as Chair of the Community Development & Urban Planning Committee (2017-2020), Chair of the Health, Aging & Disabilities Committee (2021-2022), and Vice Chair of the Public Safety Committee (2021-2022). Rysheema sponsored multiple pieces of legislation; a couple of highlights are the launch of Wilmington’s first disparity study to review the City government’s procurement system. She also sponsored a resolution that urged the Delaware General Assembly to enact legislation that brings up-to-date sex-education standards and curricula, with a particular focus on the inclusion of sexual assault, consent, and the development of healthy relationships.

The loss of Rysheema Dixon is a void that we can never fill. But the countless people whose lives were touched by her will forever be inspired to fight for change as a result of her tremendous life, legacy, and her leadership.

Rysheema Dixon joins residents from North Wilmington on May 21, 2022, for the Open Streets Wilmington event that was held on North Washington Street.
Photo Courtesy of Yesenia Taveras, Director of Communications for Wilmington City Council.


Yesenia Taveras
Director of Communications,
Wilmington City Council
Cell: (302) 757-5748
City Council Website:

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