AWAY from January 10, 2017- February 13, 2017

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NO! The Rape Documentary and #LoveWITHAccountability are going off of the grid from January 10, 2017 through February 13, 2017 while Aishah Shahidah Simmons sits a 30-day vipassana meditation course. This practice is one of two unwavering tools/resources that both support and enable Aishah to do the work that she does in the world. We invite you to read her reflections on her process and journey.

If you would like to schedule a screening/lecture engagement after February 13, 2017, please contact Jean Caini  at Speak Out!

We will be back on the grid on February 14, 2017!

Aishah Shahidah Simmons' Reflects Upon the Women's March on Washington in the New York Times

You can read this article and the full chorus of the eight women who weighed in on The New York Times as well:

I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about the Women's March on Washington.

As a pro-choice black feminist lesbian who voted for Hillary Clinton I found myself asking: Which women? The majority of black women voters did all we could do to prevent what will happen on Jan. 20, 2017. I was alarmed that the original framing of the march ignored the role of race in the struggle for equality for women. The organizers were all white women and were calling it the Million Women March -- a huge faux pas given that the first Million Woman March, in 1997, was organized by black women. I was among the hundreds of thousands who gathered in Philadelphia.

Since its original framing, the march has evolved. Three powerhouse women of color — Tamika D. MalloryCarmen Perez and Linda Sarsour — have joined Bob Bland as the national co-chairs

Their mission is clear. This major gathering in Washington, and other cities across the United States and internationally, to send a message to Donald J. Trump, his administration and the world that all women’s rights are human rights and that those who march defend and stand in solidarity with the most marginalized. 

I’m cautiously optimistic about the march. As an activist and the daughter of two veterans of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, I believe in the power of marches. The inauguration of Trump is plenty of reason to protest. And yet, the Women’s March organizers don’t call it a protest. 

But that's O.K. because we need multilayered strategies to challenge and resist any efforts to rollback the gains we’ve made in women’s rights, civil rights, L.G.B.T.Q. rights and immigrant rights over the last 50 years.

#LoveWITHAccountability: A New Campaign Created by Aishah Shahidah Simmons

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"I’ve been pruning in the gender based-violence forest since the early 1990’s – for more than 20 years – and yet it wasn’t until this past year that I was able to cultivate the strength to dig up my child sexual abuse roots.  And as is the case with so many victim-survivors, this digging up inevitably leads to questions of love, accountability and family." ~ Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Creator of NO! The Rape Documentary and #LoveWITHAccountability

In January 2016, Aishah Shahidah Simmons was one of eight individuals who was awarded a two-year fellowship from the Just Beginnings Collaborative to develop and launch her new project, which is a continuation of the work she began with NO! The Rape Documentary. #LoveWITHAccountability is a multi-media campaign for child sexual abuse and incest survivors of African descent to speak out in solidarity and to share their testimonies and solutions for creating accountability for the violence done to them within their families. #LoveWITHAccountability addresses the profound harm that comes – especially for people of color – when the only option for addressing child sexual abuse is punishment and incarceration.  

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To learn more about the project, including the two-week #LoveWITHAccountability online forum featuring essays, testimonials, video, and poetry by 29 Black diasporic child sexual abuse survivors and/or advocates, please visit the website

#Nov8 #VOTE

I exercised a right that many in this country *still* do not have - the right to vote. It is a right that too many died for to have. It is a right that my divorced parents Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons put their literal lives on the line for in the 1960s. Voting is NOT the end. It is a continuation of hardcore, relentless struggles that we, who believe in peace, compassionate justice and freedom, must wage. 

We must VOTE AND We must STRUGGLE.

Aishah Shahidah Simmons in the New York Times

Aishah Shahidah Simmons weighs in on Trump and violence against women in the New York Times:

The offensive video of Donald Trump talking with Billy Bush and other men is the latest reminder that the work being done to end violence against women is never-ending. These vulgar and egregious conversations about women happen regularly throughout this country: What’s unique is that Trump and Bush were caught on tape.

And the backlash is heartening: Women have taken to social media and in some cases the streets, to protest this language and make their voices heard. Republican politicians are fleeing their nominee.

But despite the overwhelmingly negative response, and the immense progress women have made over the past 40 years, the threat of violence against women is still a very serious problem in this country.

While many have jumped to condemn Trump, others have sought to dismiss his comments as mere "locker room talk" or, even more disturbingly, just "what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence." These excuses illustrate how this violence is perpetuated when powerful men are not held accountable for it.

When high-profile white men assert what they see as their right to do what they want to women, it sanctions all men to do the same. This type of behavior becomes normal, excused as a “boys will be boys” phenomenon. It transcends race and culture because it’s about dominance over women, but more often than not, it is the most marginalized women who suffer the most. Men may not be able to degrade a famous actress to her face, but if they feel free to speak in such vulgar terms about her in private, imagine what they might feel they could say or do to another woman without the same visibility. Or, more broadly, imagine if Trump's defense of "locker room" language is accepted by judges or those who end up on the jury of a sexual assault case.

This "locker room" talk has trickle-down consequences.

Not only do attempts to brush off Trump's comments minimize the everyday experiences of survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault, but it buries our fight under an extremely dangerous excuse — that this is just how the powerful talk.

Wealth, privilege and power are never excuses for any type of violence, against women or otherwise.

Reflecting Upon Nate Parker and Deconstructing Rape Myths with Aaronette M. White, Ph.D.

High profile celebrity cisgender Black men who commit gender-based violence are scrutinized and held accountable by the white mainstream media and criminal justice system in ways that their white counterparts are not. However, as Heidi, Kebo, Tarana, and Tamura have all articulated, we cannot allow the relentless, vicious racism and white supremacy committed against Black people to silence the brutal intra-racial patriarchy and misogyny in all of its violent manifestations in Black communities.  My Black feminist lesbian incest and rape survivor body will never ever be safe and free with the eradication of white supremacy and racism alone.

We must dispel and deconstruct rape myths.

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