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All #FromNO2Love events are free and open to the public.

Registration, which will open in mid-September, is required for attendance.

#FromNO2Love is in three parts. Each venue is wheelchair accessible, and there will be ASL interpreters. You must register for each of the three events.

Thursday, October 31, 2019 — Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

6:00 - 10:00 - 25th Anniversary of the making of NO! The Rape Documentary screening (presented with English subtitles) and celebration

6:15 - 7:00

  • video slide show in honor of writer, Toni Cade Bambara, poet, Essex Hemphill, and social psychologist, Aaronette M. White, three ancestral spirits who were instrumental in the making of NO! when they were alive.

  • screening of Bahamadia’s “WeHere” music video

  • Remarks by Special Guests

  • Introduction of the film by Aishah Shahidah Simmons - she/her(s)- producer, writer, and director of NO!

7:00 - 8:30

  • NO! The Rape Documentary screening

8:30 - 10:00

  • Introduction of and Q&A with the onscreen contributors, filmmakers, scholar-activist advisors, translators, and study guide authors in attendance (please click here for more info)

    On-Screen: Sultan Ali, Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Aminata Cairo Baruti, Orleana Clark, Pat Clark, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Adrienne Davis, Ulester Douglas, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Audree Irons, F. Reanae McNeal, Loretta Ross, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Scheherazade Tillet, Traci C. West, Janelle L. White, Tamara L. Xavier
    Behind the Screen: Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Amadee L. Braxton, Joan Brannon, Nawo Crawford, Kia Steave-Dickerson, Wadia L. Gardiner, Charlene Gilbert, Barbara Kigozi, Tina Morton, Sharon Mullally, Evelyne Laurent-Perrault, Scheherazade Tillet, Janelle L. White, Giscard Xavier, Tamara L. Xavier,

    Elsa Barkley Brown and Salamishah Tillet are both unable to attend the screening, but will be in attendance at the conference on November 1, 2019.

Friday, November 1, 2019 - Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Wheelchair Accessible and ASL Interpreters

8:15 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:30 Welcome

9:30 - 10:00 #FromNO2Love Overview

  • Aishah Shahidah Simmons -she/her(s)- is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian cultural worker, activist, independent scholar, and international lecturer. A child sexual abuse and adult rape survivor, she is the producer/director of NO! The Rape Documentary and the editor of love WITH accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse. Simmons is also a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow, a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication and an Affiliate Scholar at the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse at the University of Pennsylvania. She has screened her work and guest lectured across the United States, Canada, and in countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. She is on Twitter, @AfroLez

  • Liz S. Alexander -she/her(s)- is an advocate, writer, womanist practitioner, and agent of change. She is the founder of She Dreams of Freedom Consulting Group, a national consultancy that is committed to improving the outcomes of girls in the criminal justice system. Liz writes on the topics of trauma, justice, spirituality, and healing. A proud alumna of Spelman College, Alexander received an MSW with a focus on Trauma and Violence Prevention from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. She also received an MA in Religious Leadership with a concentration in Social Transformation from the Chicago Theological Seminary.


10:00 - 12:00 Blazing the Trails

12:00 - 1:30 Lunch (on your own)

1:30 - 3:00 Sexual Violence Across the Black Diaspora

  • Deborah A. Thomas -she/her(s)- (moderator) is the R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also core faculty in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and the founding director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography. She is the author of several texts including, Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica (2011) and Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Sovereignty, Witnessing, and Repair (2019). Thomas has co-curated exhibits, produced and co-directed award-winning documentary films. Before her life as an academic, she was a professional dancer with the New York-based Urban Bush Women.

  • Esther Armah -she/her(s)- is a global Ghanaian award-winning Journalist; a Playwright, Lecturer, Columnist, and Radio Host who has worked in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, London, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa. Esther is the creator of EMOTIONAL JUSTICE. It is a framework exploring a legacy of untreated trauma due to our global history and its contemporary manifestations in how we love, live, lead, and build. She does this via her EMOTIONAL JUSTICE column with the global online portal ‘WARSCAPES, her five plays that have been performed in New York, Chicago and Ghana, her podcast ‘THE SPIN,’ and her essays. She is on Twitter @eastherarmah.

  • Edxie Betts -they/she- is a Black, Blackfeet Indigenous, Pilipinx, TransFeminine, autonomous organizer and insurrectionary cultural worker. Their work brings direct support to oppressed communities in need. Her work also involves political education, supporting political prisoners, art for the sake of propagating resistance culture, counter-narrative, and collective liberation through direct action. Follow their werk via Instagram @bettsurevolt

  • Sevonna Brown -she/her(s)- is the Associate Executive Director at Black Women’s Blueprint, a transnational Black feminist organization. She was recently accepted into the New York Community Trust Spring 2018 Fellows Cohort, where she is developing a change initiative project through leadership development and community organizing. Brown was also recognized as a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow for her writing. Her work has been published in Ebony, TIME Magazine, ForHarriet, and Rewire News. She serves on the board of Children of Combahee, which mobilizes against child sexual abuse in Black churches. She is a birth worker and reproductive justice advocate. She is on Twitter, @whereisvonna

  • Grace Sanders Johnson -she/her(s)- is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent work can be found in several journals and books, including the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies (2018), Caribbean Military Encounters (2017), and Sisters or Strangers? Immigrant, Ethnic, and Racialized Women in Canadian History (2016). In addition to her art-archival projects about gender, race, and migration in Canada, Haiti, and the US, she is currently completing her first book entitled, White Gloves, Black Nation: Gender, Citizenship and the Archive in Early Twentieth-Century Haiti. She is also the founder of “Harriet’s Hike” – an ecological literacy program for girls and elder women in North Philadelphia.

  • Evelyne Laurent-Perrault -she/her(s)- is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research examines the political imagination of enslaved and free women of African descent who lived in Caracas-Venezuela, during the eighteenth century. Before her life as an academic, Laurent-Perrault created the annual Arturo Schomburg Symposium in 1997 at Taller Puertorriqueño, Inc. in Philadelphia. This event brings together scholars, activists, and artists on the last Saturday of February to share, their expertise about the African presence in Latinx and Latin American history and cultures. A Venezuelan of Haitian descent who came to the U.S. in the 1990s, Laurent-Perrault has also lived and studied in Socialist Eastern Europe and West Africa in the 1980s. She also holds a "Licenciatura" degree in Biology from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

BREAK 3:00 - 3:15

3:15 - 4:45 Disrupting Sexual Violence in Marginalized Communities

  • Dagmawi Woubshet -he/him- (moderator) is the Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. A scholar of African American literature and art, he works at the intersections of African American, LGBTQ, and African studies. He is the author of The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of AIDS and the co-edited volume Ethiopia: Literature, Art, and Culture, a special issue of Callaloo. His other writings have appeared in various publications including Transition, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and The Atlantic. He is currently completing, Here Be Saints: James Baldwin’s Late-Style, and the first English translation of Sebhat Gebre Egziabher’s 1966 Amharic novel, ሰባተኛው መላክ Säbatägnaw Mälak [The Seventh Angel].

  • Ahmad Greene-Hayes -he/him- is the founder of Children of Combahee, a faith-based organization that works to end child sexual abuse in Black church communities, using womanist, queer-affirming, pastoral and theological methods. He is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University in the Religion in the Americas subfield, and an interdisciplinary scholar pursuing graduate certificates in African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Also, he is an essayist, and his public commentary on issues of race, gender, sexuality, Black politics and religion have appeared in The Black Scholar, Ebony, The Root, The Feminist Wire, the Huffington Post, Open Democracy and News One, among many other outlets. Greene-Hayes and Children of Combahee are on Twitter, @_brothaG, and @combaheekids

  • Jey’nce Mizrahi Poindexter -she/her(s)- is a trans woman of color and an award-winning advocate dedicated to addressing the health needs and barriers to access that many marginalized communities face in her native Detroit. For more than ten years, she advocated for HIV/AIDS prevention services and transgender rights in Southeast Michigan before becoming the first official Transgender Victims Advocate to be employed by Equality Michigan. She is a founding board member of the Trans Sistas of Color Project, a member of the National LGBTQ Taskforce, and the legendary House Mother of the House of Mizrahi, one of the most respected international ballroom houses among communities of color.

  • Ignacio G. Hutía Xeiti Rivera --they/them- is the founder of The HEAL Project. The Heal Project seeks to broaden the conversation about sexuality as a critical component to ending child sexual abuse. This project fosters open dialogue in the movement by promoting a healthy understanding of sexuality as a focal point of any work to end child sexual abuse. By making visible the hidden tools used to coerce and inflict guilt, shame, and violence on children, we can eliminate the shame and secrecy that allows abuse to occur. You can learn more about Ignacio at igrivera.com, and also follow them on Instagram, @HEAL2End.

  • Amita Swadhin -they/them- has been an organizer, educator, storyteller, and strategist working to end interpersonal and institutional violence for twenty years. Their work stems from their experiences as a queer, non-binary femme, daughter of immigrants from India, and survivor of childhood rape and domestic violence in their family of origin. In 2016, Amita received a Just Beginnings fellowship to create Mirror Memoirs, a national storytelling and organizing project uplifting LGBTQI+ people of color who survived child sexual abuse, in service of ending rape culture. In 2009, Amita co-created Secret Survivors with Ping Chong + Company, featuring survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories through theater. Amita is also a published writer. They hold an MPA from NYU, where they were a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Amita is on Instagram, @amitaswadhin.

  • Scheherazade Tillet - she/her(s)-is a photographer, art therapist, and community organizer. As a curator and social documentary photographer, Scheherazade use site-specific work to explore the themes of gendered vulnerability, racial invisibility, pleasure, and play. In 2003, she co-founded A Long Walk Home (ALWH), a Chicago-based national nonprofit, that uses art to empower young people and end violence against girls and women. She is also the Artistic Director of the award-winning multimedia performance, “Story of a Rape Survivor (SOARS).” In 2009, Scheherazade inaugurated the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute, a yearlong artist-activist program that empowers girls and young women in Chicago to be social justice leaders in their schools, communities, and Chicago at large. A Long Walk Home is on Facebook (/alongwalkhomeinc), Instagram (@alongwalkhome), and Twitter (@alongwalkhome).

4:45 - 5:15 Closing of Conference at Annenberg School for Communication

African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Wheelchair Accessible and ASL Interpreters

6:00 - 6:50 Public reception with approximately half of the 43-contributors to the love WITH accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse anthology in attendance. There will also be a video montage featuring all of the contributors.

  • Contributors in attendance: Liz S. Alexander, Esther Armah, Luz Marquez-Benbow, Edxie Betts, Sevonna Brown, Zöe Flowers, alicia sanchez gill, Adenike Harris, Ahmad Greene-Hayes, Indira Henard, Tanisha Esperanza Jarvis, e nina jay, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Tonya Lovelace, Thea Matthews, Chevara Orrin, Mel A. Phillips, Jey'nce Mizrahi Poindexter, Ignacio G. Hutía Xeiti Rivera, Lynn Roberts, Loretta Ross, Loretta Ross, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Farah Tanis, and Tashmica Torok. (please click here for more information)

7:00 Welcome

  • James Claiborne -he/him- is the Public Programming Manager for the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). In this role, James has several core responsibilities. They include building thoughtful and relevant programs for an adult audience, bringing attention to Philadelphia's thriving cultural sector, and highlighting the impact artists of the African Diaspora have around the globe. As an independent curator, James founded the gallery program at Art Sanctuary, presenting exhibits by notables, including James Dupree, Amber Arts, Richard Watson, Deborah Willis, and Barkley Hendricks. James also serves as a consultant, advisor, and board member for several cultural groups throughout Philadelphia. In 2019, he accepted a position as an adjunct professor, teaching arts audience development at Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

7:10 Context

  • Monique S. Howard - she/her(s)- is the Executive Director of Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), the only rape crisis center in Philadelphia. WOAR’s mission is two-pronged: eliminate rape and to provide services and advocate for those individuals who have experienced rape or sexual assault. Dr. Howard is an accomplished public health administrator with a 20-year history of protecting and improving the health of women, families, and communities. Previously, Dr. Howard was the executive director of the Office of Women’s Health at the New Jersey Department of Health. She was the former executive director of the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network (NJWAN), the only female-specific AIDS service organization in NJ. In addition to her position at WOAR, she is an advisory committee member for the Public Health Program at LaSalle University and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Health.

  • Tynehsa McHarris - she/her(s) is a Program Officer for the NoVo Foundation’s Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights initiative.  She also serves on the Just Beginnings Collaborative’s Steering Committee. Tynesha brings over a decade of experience advocating for racial and gender justice in movements and organizations across the country. She has worked extensively with foundations, community organizations and young people that seek to challenge the systems and institutions that perpetuate inequity. Before joining NoVo, Tynesha served as Director of Program at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Director of Programs and Community Engagement at Newark Trust for Education, Director of Community Programming for PENewark, and Newark Program Director for the Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

7:30 - 8:30 love WITH accountability anthology conversation with the editor, and four of the 43-contributors

  • Aishah Shahidah Simmons -she/her(s)- (moderator) is the editor of love WITH accountability. She is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian cultural worker, activist, independent scholar, and international lecturer. A child sexual abuse and adult rape survivor, she is the producer/director of NO! The Rape Documentary. Simmons is also a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow, a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication and an Affiliate Scholar at the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse at the University of Pennsylvania. She has screened her work and guest lectured across the United States, Canada, and in countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. She is on Twitter @AfroLez.

  • alicia sanchez gill -she/her(s)- is a contributor to love WITH accountability. She is a queer, afrolatinx survivor. In her almost twenty years of calling DC home, alicia has engaged in intersectional anti-violence and harm-reduction work through various reproductive justice, gender-based violence, HIV, sex-worker and LGBTQ organizations and collectives. alicia works to end interpersonal and state gendered violence through community-based responses to harm. As Interim Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, she is helping incubate a queer and trans people of color-led Transformative Justice working group for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. alicia believes that we will never end gendered violence if we don't end the carceral state. She is on Twitter, @aliciasanchez.

  • Cyrée Jarelle Johnson -he/they- is a contributor to love WITH accountability. He is a poet, writer, and librarian from Piscataway, New Jersey. They are the author of SLINGSHOT, their first collection of poetry, out now with Nightboat Books. Find Cyrée on the internet at cyreejarellejohnson.com or @cyreejarelle.

  • Mel A. Phillips -he/him- is a contributor to love WITH accountability. He is a folk/street artist, writer, and natural-born storyteller whose appetite for creativity and fierce love for humanity shapes and colors the unique perspectives he brings to the work. As a change agent, peacemaker, community activist, and Victim’s Advocate at Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors In Service (OAASIS), Mel understands that silence is violence in today’s culture of rape, violence, and oppression. He speaks with and educates individuals and community groups about equity, interpersonal violence, and social justice whenever and wherever the chance is afforded.

  • Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons -she/her(s)- is a contributor to love WITH accountability. She is a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a feminist Islamic scholar, and professor emerita of African American studies and religion at the University of Florida. She received her MA and Ph.D. in religious studies and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Temple University. Her primary academic focus is on Islam with a specific focus on Islamic Law and its impact on Muslim women. She is the recipient of the Gainesville, Florida’s 2010 Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award, the Scarritt-Bennett Center’s 2010 Ann L. Reskovac Courage Award, the Gainesville Commission on Women’s 2011 International Women’s Human Rights Award, the 2018 Friends of Susan B. Anthony Award and many other awards. She is on Twitter, @GZoharah.

8:30 - 9:00 love WITH accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse anthology signing with the contributors in attendance.