Aishah Shahidah Simmons was featured on NBC News with a piece covering the recent news that Whitney Houston's survived child sexual abuse.
"It seems that Houston’s childhood sexual trauma and her decision, conscious or not, to not fully disclose what happened and receive support was also a festering wound that she could not heal.
Despite all of the powerful, survivor-affirming awareness around sexual violence that has been growing, child sexual abuse — especially in families — remains a very taboo topic."
You can read the full piece here.
The Westwood Baptist Church in Richmond, VA where Rev. Michael Lomax is the pastor will host a FREE all day conference on sexual violence, accountability and healing on Saturday, April 21, 2018. There will be a panel, a screening of NO! The Rape Documentary, and a keynote by #BlackFeminist sister/scholar/comrade/friend, co-founder of The Feminist Wire, and the first lady of Westwood Baptist Church, Dr. Tamura Lomax.
SPREAD THE WORD. This FREE intergenerational gathering is open to all. You can register here.
Join Aishah Shahidah Simmons for Take Back the Night at Dickinson College Wednesday April 11th at 6:30pm in Allison Great Hall.
Aishah will kick off April's Sexual Assault Awareness month in Tuscon, Arizona with a fundraiser screening of NO! The Rape Documentary on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 7:30pm.
All proceeds will go towards the planning of Tucson Take Back the Night 2018, the annual march and event raising awareness around sexual assault and empowering survivors.
Aishah was also featured on a local news segment.
Aishah Shahidah Simmons was the keynote speaker at the Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference, which was be held March 2-3 at Hampshire College. The title of her talk was AfroLezfemcentric Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Sexuality.
[AUDIO] “How do you move beyond sharing about your trauma to healing it?” asks child sexual abuse survivor, adult rape survivor, NO! The Rape Documentary producer/director and #LoveWITHAccountability creator Aishah Shahidah Simmons on Episode 2 of Feral Visions: a decolonial feminist podcast with producer/host Anjali Nath. Feral Visions is also available as an iTunes podcast. Resources listed below.
***The interview was conducted on August 14, 2017 and released on October 19, 2017. Aishah and her father were finally able to have a seismic, transformative conversation on October 16, 2017.***
Links to resources referenced in the interview.
“[...]I’ve been pruning in the gender based-violence forest since the early 1990s — for more than 20 years — and yet it wasn’t until the beginning of January 2015 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.[...]”
They talked about Aishah's deeply personal and very public #LoveWITHAccountability work, the rigors of healing work, and reflections upon the pending Cosby trial's larger societal implications.
THREE WOMEN RISING, the journey to ending childhood sexual abuse on Episode 19 of Rythea Lee's 'Advice from a Loving Bitch' series. Rythea invited expert artists, activists, and cultural workers author Donna Jenson and #LoveWITHAccountability creator Aishah Shahidah Simmons to join her to help her tackle this child sexual abuse with passion, grace, and maturity. Rythea, Donna, and Aishah each answer "How do we heal? How do we fight back? How do we break the cycle? How do we find joy?"
This project took several months, tons of patience, lots of trust, deep compassion and much love.
In September 2016, Aishah Shahidah Simmons had the opportunity to participate in her friend/comrade/sibling survivor Ignacio G Rivera's The HEAL Project's "Outing CSA (Child Sexual Abuse)" campaign, which features the voices of a range of diverse individuals publicly naming their status as CSA survivors. Aishah’s video was posted on March 21, 2017 on The Heal Project’s site. #LoveWITHAccountability is truly grateful for Ignacio's vision and dedicated work to pull up the roots of child sexual abuse in a variety of educationally interactive, media-based ways.
Please visit the video archive here. My video is below.
CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNING: Child sexual abuse, survivor, rape
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.
We will be back on the grid on February 14, 2017!
Luz Marquez Benbow and Dr. Thema Bryant Davis join producer/host Esther Armah for a moving conversation on Child Sexual Abuse, Family, Faith, Forgiveness and The Script of Silence in Part II of #TheSpin's #LoveWITHAccountability special.
Broken silence, breaking soul, drugs, truancy, poetry, Christianity, African-based Spirituality, finding a way, coming home, losing your way, context and comfort and company in this powerful 3-way diasporic Black --Ghanaian, Puerto Rican, and African-American women's exchange.
The brainchild of producer/host/visionary Esther Armah, #TheSpin is a one hour, weekly radio show recorded via BBC Accra and NPR studios. The Spin is distributed by NPR Distribution and the Public Radio Satellite System. The show airs on the radio in Ghana, Nigeria, and on several NPR affiliates throughout the United States. It is also available on SoundCloud and iTunes podcasts via The Spin1 channel.
LISTEN, SHARE, AND TAKE CARE.
#LoveWITHAccountability is the focus for Sister Visionary Esther Armah's column this week in Ghana's Business & Financial Times. #LoveWITHAccountabilit creator Aishah Shahidah Simmons, her mother Dr Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, and clinical psychologist Dr. Thema Bryant Davis are each featured in Esther's column, which is a global call to action to address this epidemic.
[...] " #LoveWITHAccountability multi-media project. Survivors of childhood sexual assault, sexual molestation and rape share their stories, their journeys as part of a call to healing, change, and what the concept creator calls, ‘loving, accountably’.
What does loving, accountably mean? Doesn’t it go against a global society’s nurturing on loving, unconditionally? Isn’t unconditional love – not accountable love - the goal for how we love, for how parents love their children, for children’s love of their parents, for adults love of each other?" [...]
Esther Armah, Producer/Director of THE SPIN: all women media panel syndicated talk show launched a two-part #LoveWITHAccountability (LWA) special featuring LWA creator Aishah Shahidah Simmons and her mother Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, and Luz Marquez-Benbow and Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis.
In part 1 of The Spin’s LoveWITHAccountability special Aishah and Dr. Simmons delved deep and broke silence about familial #incest violence committed against Aishah when she was a child. They reflected, cried, held space, spoke openly, and read excerpts of their joint article in the #LoveWITHAccountability Forum on The Feminist Wire
The brainchild of producer/host/visionary Esther Armah, THE SPIN: all women media panel syndicated talk show is a one hour, weekly radio show recorded via BBC Accra and NPR studios. The Spin is distributed by NPR Distribution and the Public Radio Satellite System. The show airs on the radio in Ghana, Nigeria, and on several NPR affiliates throughout the United States. It is also available on SoundCloud and iTunes podcasts via The Spin1 channel.
The Spin. One Hour. Once a Week. Smart=Sexy. Listen below!
#LoveWITHAccountability creator Aishah Shahidah Simmons captured this photograph of her mother Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons during their audio recording of their joint "peace": LOVE WITH ACCOUNTABILITY: A Mother's Lament and A Daughter's Postscript. This recording will be shared with and used by the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC) in their critical work to respond to child sexual abuse.
'[…]After over a decade of working to build transformative community responses to child sexual abuse, I know that small victories can have the greatest impact and continue to be our markers of progress. They are small guideposts that we can use to get through the worst of the storm. A compass for where we want to go next.[…]’
Mia is a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow. Read more here.
For many Black/People of Color, the harm doers are ALSO in our families of origin and our chosen communities. They, too, have been harmed and are often unable or unwilling to examine the ways that they harm. However if this excruciatingly painful and relentless work doesn't happen, our communities will never be liberated.