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A Gathering to Reclaim What Aretha's Music & Legacy Mean for Black Women

Sunday, March 24, 2019

It was devastating enough to lose the queen of soul last year, but the disgraceful eulogy Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. Delivered at her service last September added insult to injury. Instead of focusing on celebrating Aretha Franklin as the cultural icon she is, Reverend Williams used the occasion as a chance to launch uninformed diatribes against everything from single mothers to Black Lives Matter. Despite serving as a beacon for Black women over the course of her multi-decade career, Aretha was effectively denied the chance to be toasted, memorialized, and paid homage on black women’s terms.

What would it look like if Aretha Franklin’s legacy was seen through black women’s eyes? What would it sound like if black women honored her sonic contributions in our own voices? At AAPF’s reimagining of the traditional earthly send-off, fans of Aretha’s from far and wide will contribute remarks, art, and performances that recast, reconstitute, and reclaim what Aretha means for Black women. On this occasion of Aretha Franklin’s first birthday since her passing, join us for a Black feminist eulogy fit for a queen.



Monday, March 25, 2019

Black women have played prominent roles in responding to sexual harassment, yet their experiences are regularly relegated to the sidelines, delegitimized, and dismissed. Panelists will examine how race influences which sexual abusers do and don’t face consequences for their misdeeds. They will compare the outrage about Harvey Weinstein, whose victims were primarily white, with the relative indifference toward R. Kelly, whose victims are primarily Black.




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Black women have long gone above and beyond the call of duty in their contributions to American civic life. Despite their extraordinary engagement, particularly in terms of voter turnout and political participation, Black women and their interests face a jarring lack of political recognition and representation.


With that history in mind, an ensemble cast stages a performance that explores the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman—an early 20th-century civic organizer and political activist—through music, dance, and drumming. The performance is followed by a panel exploring the political implications of Tubman’s profound legacy. Among other topics, the panel of political analysts and theorists will discuss how Tubman’s story illustrates the powerful and lasting consequences of having black women as a driving force in the fight for equality and justice.


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Staged Reading of an Original Play

Thursday, March 28, 2019

A staged reading performance, Say Her Name: the Lives That Should've Been imagines the lives that mothers, daughters, and sisters may have led had some lives not been cut short by police violence. Performers celebrate the beauty, complexity, and everyday normalcy of the victims’ lives. Based on interviews with family and friends of the victims of racist violence, this performance bears witness to and demands justice for Black women and girls.

Creative Team and Cast:

Written by: Kimberlé Crenshaw, G’Ra Asim & Julia Sharpe-Levine

Directed by: Vaneh Assadourian & Darcie Crager
Music by: Abby Dobson


Nini - Robbie Ann Darby          Korryn - Taji Senior
Michelle - Ashlee Olivia         Shelly - Celia Mandela Rivera
India - Johari Nandi          Kayla - MJ Brown aka Miss Barbie-Q

Cassandra - April Grace           Rhanda - Elvinet Piard

Fran - Sharon Debbie Hogg.         Sharon - Denise Woods
Gina - Saadiqa Kamille.         Maria - Maiya Reaves

Virtual Event in Partnership with

The Institute for Women's Policy Research

Friday, March 29, 2019

Maternal mortality has been on the rise in the united states since the 1990s and the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed nation in the world according to the world health organization. Maternal mortality also varies widely by race and ethnicity in the united states, with Black women more than three times as likely to die in childbirth as white women.


This panel will explore the reasons why Black women disproportionately die as a result of childbirth and the important role that paid family and medical leave plays in reducing maternal mortality, especially for Black women.


This webinar is the first of a series of three webinars produced in partnership with the policies for action—a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, administered by the Urban Institute—on the impacts of work supports on health outcomes.

The webinar series will bring together researchers, policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders to discuss the evidence that work supports, such as paid family and medical leave, can positively affect family health and well-being.


Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Dr. Julia Goodman, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University

Dr. Rada Dagher, Program Officer, Clinical Health Services Research Branch, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, Founder and President, National Birth Equity Collaborative

Jennie Joseph, Founder and Executive Director, Commonsense Childbirth Inc.

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