Aishah Shahidah Simmons is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer and international lecturer. An incest and rape survivor, she is the creator of the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed and award-winning feature length film NO! The Rape Documentary. Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, says, “If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work that [NO!] begins.”
Aishah is a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow where she is developing her multimedia project #LoveWITHAccountability, which examines how accountability is a powerful and necessary form of love needed to address child sexual abuse (CSA). #LoveWITHAccountability will also examine how the silence around child sexual abuse in the familial institution plays a direct role in creating a culture of sexual violence in all other institutions—religious, academic, activist, political and professional. Previously, she was the 2015-2016 Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College, an Adjunct Professor in the Women’s and LGBT Studies Program at Temple University, an O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at Scripps College, an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and an Artist-in-Residence at Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon.
Her essays and articles have been published in several anthologies including the recently released Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement anthology edited by Jennifer Patterson and Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence anthology edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers.
Committed to archiving, documenting and telling Black women’s herstories and contemporary realities, Aishah curated and lead-edited The Feminist Wire’s (TFW) “Global Forum on Audre Lorde.” She co-curated and co-edited, with Heidi R. Lewis, TFW’s “Toni Cade Bambara 75th Birthday Anniversary Forum.” Most recently in March 2016, she co-curated and co-edited, with Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Heather Turcotte, Heidi R. Lewis, Tc Tolbert, and Mick Powell, TFW’s “June Jordan Forum.” Aishah has screened her work, guest lectured and facilitated workshops and dialogues throughout the North American continent and in many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. An Associate Editor of TFW, Aishah’s cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in a wide range of media outlets including The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Left of Black, In These Times, Ms. Magazine, Alternet, ColorLines, The Philadelphia Weekly, National Public Radio (NPR), Pacifica Radio Network and Black Entertainment Television (BET). You can follow her on twitter @AfroLez.
“Feminist We Love”: Linda Janet Holmes (2014) Color/Digital Video/60-minutes
“Feminists We Love”: Gloria I. Joseph, Ph.D. (2014) Color/Digital Video/60-minutes
“Feminists We Love”: Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, M.D., M.Sc. (2014) Color/Digital Video/60-minutes
Breaking Silences: A Supplemental Video to NO! © 2008, USA Color/Digital Video/112 minutes
For Women of Rage and Reason © 2006, USA Color/Digital Video/4:45 minutes
NO! The Rape Documentary © 2006, USA Color/Digital Video/94-minutes
NO! A Work-in-Progress © 1997, 2000, 2002, USA Color/Digital Video/8-minutes, 20-minutes, and 74-minutes\
In My Father’s House © 1996, USA, Color/Video/15-minutes
Silence…Broken © 1993, USA, Color/Video/8-minutes