Aishah Shahidah Simmons on art, global sisterhood and personal integrity.

Sometimes the truth is all you have.

Sometimes the truth is more than enough.

In 1995, filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons started a journey that would change her life. A survivor of rape and incest, she decided to create a film about rape in the African-American community.

Through its eleven-year inception, development, finalization and distribution process, “NO! The Rape Documentary” has taken Aishah across the country and around the world.

Her brilliant film documents the conversations and perspectives of a diverse community of African-American women (and some men) with radical, healing, transformative understandings of rape, sex and sexuality.

In our Trailblazer Thursday fireside chat, Aishah and I discuss the importance of:

  • The community that names you
  • Listening to your inner spirit
  • Maintaining personal integrity even in the face of financial need
  • How ‘NO!’ helped her create global community

She talks about how she continued moving forward with this labor of love, even when the world around her said she was done – it was time to move on.

We also explore how she built a bridge between global sisterhood and international oppression.

This interview is not to be missed.


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  • Aishah Shahidah Simmons and L’Erin Alta-Devki talking about sacred community, listening to your inner spirit and personal integrity. Click to Tweet!
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Want more? Check out the the “No!” trailer —

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