Aishah Shahidah Simmons Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Aishah Shahidah Simmons    

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker, Author, Feminist & Activist

Aishah Shahidah Simmons’s award-winning cultural work expresses its voice through the art of documentary filmmaking, writing, and activism while being informed by her lived experiences as a child sexual abuse survivor, adult rape survivor, and Buddhist practitioner. She is committed to disrupting and ending violence without relying on carceral accountability.

Aishah began telling stories cinematically in the early 1990s under the guidance of her teacher, the late Toni Cade Bambara at Scribe Video Center. With her self-defined AfroLez®femcentric pen and camera lens, she wrote, directed and produced her widely acclaimed short videos "Silence...Broken" and "In My Father's House" address race, gender, homophobia, rape, reproductive justice, and misogyny.

Aishah is most widely known for her 2006 groundbreaking, internationally acclaimed and award-winning documentary feature film, NO! The Rape Documentary. Twelve years in the making and funded by the Ford Foundation, along with many other funding partners, NO! exposes the taboos that cover-up rape, sexual assault, and failed accountability in African-American communities. A precursor to the contemporary campus anti-sexual assault movements, NO! was ahead of its time. Its’ 2006-world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA occurred one-year before Title IX was successfully applied to campus sexual assault cases.

The 2020 Lambda Literary Award-winning "Love WITH Accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse," is an anthology that Aishah organized and edited. It builds on the 2016 #LoveWITHAccountability Forum. The transformative writings feature experiences and perspectives by diasporic Black child sexual abuse survivors, advocates, and Aishah’s mother, who underscores the detrimental impact of parents/caregivers not believing their children when they disclose their sexual abuse. The contributors explore how we can center survivors’ healing process, and simultaneously address childhood sexual abuse without depending on policing and prisons.

Related Speakers View all

More like Aishah