Behind Unveiling the Silence: NO! The Rape Documentary Study Guide
Meet the women and man who had pivotal roles in the creation of the study guide, which accompanies NO! The Rape Documentary.
Salamishah Tillet, Ph.D., Primary Author
Salamishah Tillet, Ph.D., is the co-founder of A Long Walk Home Inc. and the writer and the program director of A Story of a Rape Survivor (SOARS). In addition to her work on the Study Guide, Dr. Tillet is a featured interviewee in NO! as well as an associate producer and the director of archival research of NO! Dr. Tillet is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in English and Afro-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (1996) and her M.A.T. in English Education from Brown University (1997). She earned her A.M. in English and American Literature in 2002 and her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 2007. She is the author of Peculiar Citizenship: Slavery and the Post-Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press), which examines how contemporary African-American artists and writers reconstruct “sites of slavery” as a metaphor for their post-Civil Rights political identities. Her research interests include twentieth-century African-American literature and visual and performance arts, cultural studies, and feminism. She is currently working on a book on the civil rights icon, Nina Simone.
Rachel Afi Quinn, Secondary Author
Rachel Afi Quinn has worked with students of all ages over the last 15 years, in the U.S. and abroad, with a particular commitment to underserved youth. Since graduating from Wesleyan University in 1999, Rachel spent a year living in Ghana, West Africa. Upon returning to the US, she entered the non-profit world of San Francisco and with a passion for education for all and found a home in documentary film distribution with California Newsreel. Rachel assisted in film development, recruiting more filmmakers of color, and compiling resources for the African-American Perspectives Collection and the Library of African Cinema film catalogs. Currently, Rachel is getting her Ph.D. in the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her work is on social constructions of race in the African Diaspora, specifically the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. She is committed to diversity in education.
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Ph.D., Contributing Essayist
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Ph.D., is a feminist scholar of Islam and former SNCC Organizer. She is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Florida, where her primary academic focus is on Islamic law and its impact on contemporary Muslim women. Her primary academic focus in Islam is on Islamic Law and its impact on Muslim women. She conducted research in Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and Syria on the Shari’ah’s impact on women, contemporarily and the women’s movements in those countries to change these laws. Dr. Simmons also teaches on the topics of African-American religious traditions and race, religion, and rebellion. She is currently completing a manuscript for New York University Press whose working title is: Muslim Feminism – A Call for Reform. Dr. Simmons has a thorough grounding in Sufism (the mystical stream in Islam) having studied for seventeen years with the contemporary Sufi Mystic, Shaykh M.R. Bawa Muhaiyadeen. In addition to her academic and spiritual studies she has a long history in the area of civil rights, human rights and peace work, which includes being a member of the staff of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker-based, international peace and justice non-governmental organization for twenty three years.
Tamara L. Xavier, M.Ed., Contributing Essayist
Tamara L. Xavier, M.Ed., is an avant-garde dance artist who applies deep listening and positive consciousness to the fore. Currently based in Philadelphia, PA, where she is completing a Ph.D. degree in Dance at Temple University. Tamara choreographs innovative dance dramas that raise awareness of current human rights issues and harkens back to Afro-Caribbean mythopoetic imagery. She was initiated into the world of experimental dance films via her collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Tina Morton in Morton’s If You Call Them. As Director of Choreography for the documentary film NO! and Choreographer/Performer in the documentary film Enemy on the Inside: Who holds you accountable?, Tamara has had the opportunity to create narrative movement vignettes for Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Grace Poore, respectively, two award-winning women of color film directors and activists committed to breaking the silence around sexual violence endured by women and children. She has performed with maverick artists such as The Hydrogen Jukebox, Leah Stein, Ju-Yeon Ryu, Victoria Rothstein, Monica McIntyre and is showcased in Academy Award-winning filmmaker Wendy Weinberg’s documentary The Art of Activism. Her dream choreographic assignment would be to make a dance work with the phenomenal dancers of Urban Bush Women set to lyrics written by Mary J. Blige.
Kavita Rajanna, Graphic Designer
Kavita Rajanna is a political graphic design and program development consultant living in Philadelphia, PA, where she is also involved in community-based social change work. Since 1994, she has worked with many cultural and community organizations, as an organizer, cultural worker, and program developer. She has a Master’s from NYU’s Gallatin School, focusing on the use of culture as a tool of survival and resistance in communities of color.
Traci McKindra, NO! Logo Designer
Traci graduated from Drake University in 2002 with a B.A. in Graphic Design and a specialized minor in Arts Management (with advertising, marketing and management coursework). She is Senior Art Director in the Midwest offices of Integer Group in Des Moines, IA. Traci also freelances as a web designer for Lori Robinson (LoriRobinson.com). From 2004 through 2007, she designed and maintained the NO! website. As a member of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, she serves as the leader of the Praise and Worship team, a member of the St. Paul Unity Choir and attends the Women’s Ministry. Traci (with partner Alesha Hartin) has also done some freelance print design work for the St. Paul A.M.E. Church Transformation Center, a social service agency being sponsored by her church that provides transitional housing, counseling and other programs to the Des Moines community. Traci also works in the community as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a spiritual advisor to the Drake Gospel Choir.
Paul Farber, Copy Editor
Paul Farber is a writer and educator originally from Mount Airy in Philadelphia, PA. He is a doctoral student in the Program for American Culture at the University of Michigan, and received a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include critical race and queer studies, urban visual culture, and fashion/performance studies. His writing and reporting has previously appeared in Vibe, Blender, Complex, Philadelphia Weekly, Strut, Milk, and Mass Appeal, and on the internet on America Online, NewsOne, and Outsports. Paul Farber is a cultural critic whose writing has appeared in Vibe, Blender, Complex, Philadelphia Weekly, Strut, and Mass Appeal, and on the internet on America Online and Outsports. He is currently a doctoral student in the Program for American Culture at the University of Michigan.
Tonya M. Evans-Walls practices in the areas of public finance, intellectual property, literary law, and estate planning. The firm is listed in the Red Book. She is also Visiting Professor of Law at the Harrisburg Campus of Widener University School of Law and former Adjunct Professor at York College of Pennsylvania, where she taught Music Licensing, Publishing, and Copyright. During law school, Ms. Evans-Walls interned with the Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, with U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah and with the Honorable Theodore A. McKee in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Evans-Walls is a poet and the author of Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language, Seasons of Her and SHINE! Her short story, Not Tonight appears in an anthology titled Proverbs for the People, published by Kensington. Prior to law school, Mrs. Evans-Walls competed on the women’s professional tennis circuit and played most notably in the US Open, Virginia Slims of Philadelphia, and Lipton in 1993. She now lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Orville R. Walls, III, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.Print This Page