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Rosa Clemente      

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

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a leading voice and change-maker in 21st-century U.S. liberation struggles. As an organizer, speaker, political commentator, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist, the award-winning freedom fighter utilizes various tools and mediums to help push forward social and political movements, such as Black liberation, police violence, U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico, Afro-Latinx identity, sexual violence and more.

In 2008, Clemente made herstory when she became the first Afro-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, they are 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, an Oscar-winning biographical drama film by Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler about the betrayal of Black Panther Fred Hampton at the hands of FBI informant William O'Neal. She can also be heard and seen on her weekly Web series Disrupt the Chaos talking to activists, scholars, politicians and celebrities like Eva Longoria, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Dr. Cornel West on social struggles, identity and current affairs.

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 in 4 languages.

As president of Know Thy Self Productions, a full-service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service, she has produced major community activism tours and consults on issues such as hip-hop activism, media justice, third-party politics, intercultural relations among communities of color, immigration and universal healthcare. 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 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


Black & Brown Power: Community Organizing & Social Justice Movements In the U.S.

Can't Stop Our Blackness: Black Latinx Narratives And Resisting Erasure

Digging in the Crates: Hip-Hop's 5th Element

When a Black Puerto Rican Woman Ran for Vice President & Nobody Knew Her Name

Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans & Independence: 5 Years After Hurricane Maria

Not Ready to Die but Wanting To: A Black Latina's Experience with Mental Health

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