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Rosa Clemente      

Community Organizer, Journalist, Political Activist, President & Founder of Know Thy Self Productions

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a Black-Puerto Rican woman born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is an organizer, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist.

In 2008, Clemente made herstory when she became the first Afro/Black-Latina to run for Vice-President of the United States on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney are, to this date, the only women of color ticket in U.S. Presidential history.

However, her influential work neither started nor ended there. A media-maker, Clemente was recently an associate producer on Judas and the Black Messiah, a two-time Oscar-winning film by Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler about the betrayal of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton at the hands of FBI informant William O’Neal.

As an independent journalist, Clemente has provided on-the-ground coverage of the U.S. Navy’s withdrawal from Vieques, Puerto Rico, after 67 years of military control; the devastation and government failures in New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina; Black Lives Matters protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and more. In 2017, days after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Clemente organized a group of young Latinx media-makers to cover the destruction and its political implications through PR on the Map. Under the project, she produced multiple documentaries, photo series and articles. As a writer, Clemente isn’t scared to get personal, either. Her powerful first-person essays on Afro-Latinx identity, particularly her article Who is Black?, is read in classrooms across the country and has been translated into four different languages.

As president of Know Thy Self Productions, a full-service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service, she has produced eight community activism tours. Through the production house, she also co-founded and was the national coordinator for the first-ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2003, which helped bring together more than 3,000 activists to create and implement a political agenda for the hip-hop generation.

A fearless voice against injustice and violence, including high-profile perpetrators, Clemente has famously called out Russell Simmons on accusations of sexual violence as well as confronted rapper Rick Ross on his lyrics normalizing rape culture. A longtime champion for survivors in the hip-hop industry, it’s no surprise Clemente caught the attention of celebrities in the #MeToo movement. On January 8, 2018, she and six other women of color organizers joined Hollywood actresses at the Golden Globes Red Carpet as part of an initiative by Time’s Up and #MeToo. There, she spotlighted sexual harassment and violence against women from Beverly Hills to the South Bronx.

Currently completing her PhD at the W.E.B. DuBois Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Clemente’s academic work centers national liberation struggles inside the U.S. with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party, the Black Panther Party, Black and brown liberation movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s as well as the effects of COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) on such movements. Clemente is also one of her generation’s leading scholars on the issues of Afro/Black-Latina/Latino/Latinx identity. In 2020, she created the Black Diasporic Organizing Project, a nonprofit dedicated to combating anti-Blackness within the wider Latina, Latino and Latinx community.

Speech Topics

Untold Stories: Women of Color as leaders and resisters

Unapologetically Black: Afro-Latinx culture, identity and politics in the 21st Century

We the People: Resisting & Speaking Truth to Power in Uncertain Times

Puerto Rico on the Map: Hurricane Maria, The Legacy of Colonialism and How to make a Nation

Puerto Rico on the Map: Hurricane Maria, The Legacy of Colonialism and How to make a Nation

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Hip Hop Intersectionality: Centering Class, Feminism and Race

From Moments to Movements: The power of community activism and organizing

Who is Black? A Puerto Rican Woman Claims Her Place in the African Diaspora

The Green Jobs Movement: Can it Really Save Our Generation & The Planet?

Speaking & Building Truth to Power: Media Independence for People of Color

Ladies of Color First: Feminism, Women of Color & A New Way Forward

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Sustainable Politics & Culture for a Radical Hip-Hop Generation

Presente! Latinos y Latinas in the 21st Century

Going beyond imposed identities, politics, and borders, Clemente delivers an empowered keynote speech detailing Latino influence on American life today and in the future.

From the Young Lords to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The historic appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor adds a new and important page to the history of Latino culture in the United States. In her keynote address, Clemente examines history of Puerto Rico, Nuyoricans and colonialism.

Brown, Black & Green: New Politics for a New Generation

The advent of shifting demographics and a black president have undoubtedly changed the political landscape of the United States. In this keynote speech, Clemente discusses the new majority and new politics for a new generation.

Ain’t I Hip-Hop Too?

In her keynote presentation Ain’t I Hip-Hop Too?, political activist and journalist Rosa Clemente challenges patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop Culture.

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