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Monday, March 29, 2021

On Monday, March 29th, the African American Policy Forum along with National Birth Equity Collaborative will host a panel with healthcare practitioners and researchers to examine the experiences of Black women in the US healthcare system. This groundbreaking event will focus on key Black women’s health concerns including maternal health, reproductive care access, stereotyping and mistreatment, and the intersectional failures that lead to Black women’s disproportionate vulnerabilities and disparate outcomes. By challenging prevailing injustices and debunking widespread misinformation, this star-studded panel will map the road to greater compassion and equity for Black women’s health care.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

On Tuesday, March 30th, the African American Policy Forum will host a timely panel on the history and contemporary significance of the activism of Black women athletes. The convergence of police violence, pandemic and protest in 2020 brought forth a new era of political activism from Black athletes. Those who stepped forward joined a long tradition of Black athletes using their platform—often incurring risk and penalty—to fight for their beliefs and their communities. Black women, in particular, have been at the forefront of Black athletic resistance, modeling courageous collective action and leadership. During Her Dream Deferred, we’ll explore the rich history of Black athletic resistance, celebrate the achievements of Black women athlete-activists in this political moment, and outline the hurdles and possibilities that lie ahead.




Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) promised the elimination of errors of human prejudice. Yet while conducting research on facial recognition technologies, computer scientist Joy Buolamwini uncovered that some algorithms could not detect her Black face until she put on a white mask. The documentary Coded Bias (2020), by Shalini Kantayya, tracks the fallout from this encounter and the origins of the Algorithmic Justice League, while weaving in personal stories of people whose lives have been directly impacted by unjust algorithms. The acclaimed film will be screened at Her Dream Deferred 2021, followed by a special talkback featuring Buolamwini, Timnit Gebru, Tranae’ Moran, Cathy O’Neil and Ruha Benjamin.




Thursday, April 1, 2021

The killing of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins in March 1991 became one of the flashpoints for the LA uprisings in April the next year. Through the memories of a close friend and cousin, Oscar-nominated A Love Song for Latasha (2019), directed by Sophia Nahil Allison, counters the focus on her death by building a rich archival portrait of the teenager, imagining and celebrating the life that should have been. Following the screening, director Sophia Nahli Allison and other special guests joined AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw to discuss the film, the archival and storytelling techniques of A Love Song, and the importance of using film to counter the erasure and silencing of Black women and girls.


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Sophia Nahli Allison is an experimental documentary filmmaker, photographer, and dreamer from Los Angeles. Allison disrupts conventional documentary methods by reimagining the archives and excavating hidden truths. She conjures ancestral memories to explore the intersection of fiction and non-fiction storytelling. Her short film A Love Song For Latasha has been nominated for an Oscar and received the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2019 AFI Fest, The New Orleans Film Festival, and BlackStar Film Festival.



Friday, April 2, 2021

Still I Rise (2020) explores the relationship between racism and sex trafficking, following the lives of advocates Leah Albright-Byrd and Holly Joshi and their pioneering work in the Bay Area. Featuring vignettes with AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw, Gabrielle Union, Viola Davis, Alicia Keys, Angela Davis, and others, the powerful documentary underscores the crucial lesson that ignoring the relationship between racism and sex trafficking perpetuates the crime. On Friday, April 2nd, Her Dream Deferred 2021 held a screening of Still I Rise, followed by a talkback with AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw, filmmaker Sheri Shuster, and documentary subjects Holly Joshi and Leah Albright-Byrd, discussing the lessons from their work that we should carry with us in our fight for all Black women.




Tuesday, April 6, 2021

After a week of informative and inspiring conversations about Black women, it was important to hold a space of healing for Black women. Therefore, we extended this year’s Her Dream Deferred to discuss and practice rituals of self-care and healing.

Rooted in spiritual, political, and cultural practice as outlined by Audre Lorde, recognition of the need for radical self-care continues to evolve, grow and reverberate in popular culture around the country. Through conversation with some of the country’s leading speakers and practitioners, A Space for Ritual Healing examined what activates the need for care, defined radical self-care, deconstructed the state of mental health for Black women and girls, and illuminated numerous practices and modes of empowerment.


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Shawna Murray-Browne, LCSW-C is an award-winning community healer, national speaker, and Liberation-Focused, Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Kindred Community Healing and the Principal Consultant at Kindred Wellness LLC. Trained as an integrative psychotherapist, Shawna has created life-changing, community-based sacred spaces, honoring culture, to equip Black women, youth, and change-makers with the tools to heal themselves.


A fierce advocate for racial equity in mental health care, Shawna guides professionals and organizations in nourishing a culture of mindfulness, anti-racism and impact. Shawna was named by The Huffington Post as one of the “Ten Black Female Therapists You Should Know,” featured on a segment of Good Morning Washington and was a two-time guest on the popular podcast: Therapy for Black Girls.


Shawna is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore where she earned her Masters in Social Work. Dedicated to continued growth, her practice in QiGong, African spiritual traditions and sitting at the feet of elders maintain. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and her three-year-old daughter.

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Anana Harris Parris is founder and CEO of the Self Care Agency, LLC, where she operates as lead Strategic Business & Self Care Consultant Program Designer as well as the founder of the SisterCARE Alliance. 


​Anana has over 10 years of experience in Business Operations and Community Affairs, and has worked as a Fractional COO Advisor to more than 30 businesses and law firms.  She was Director of Business Operations and Community Affairs for the Davis Bozeman Law Firm for seven years, and helped develop several collaborative projects including “Respect Black Life: I am Trayvon Martin March.”


Anana authored the first “Self Care Day” Proclamation for the city of Atlanta, which was replicated by Charlotte NC, Savannah GA, Charleston, SC and other cities. Her book, Self Care Matters: A Revolutionary’s Approach, has been used for training with the Southern Center for Human Rights and other social justice organizations.

Currently a Women of Color Thought Leader Delegate, and an Unsung Heroine Award winner, Anana has founded non-profit initiatives like the AfriSalsa Cultural Organization, and the Self Care Day Campaign.

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Dr. Mariel Buqué, an Afro-Dominicana with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, focuses on implementing culturally responsive clinical care and methods for healing wounds of intergenerational trauma. As a holistic mental health expert, and sound bath meditation healer, she helps people heal their minds, bodies and souls through holistic mental wellness practices. 


In 2014, Dr. Buque was one of six doctoral students at Columbia University to receive federal funding for training in integrated psychology/health care. She now works onsite at Columbia University Medical Center, rotating through the hospital’s Adult Outpatient ambulatory clinics – OB/GYN, cardiology, pediatrics – to provide short-term dynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy for patients who are receiving medical treatment. The premise is that Latinas/os who receive counseling are more likely to get medical care, and vice versa.

Dr. Buqué focuses her free time delivering racial healing workshops through her community and conducting mental health and anti-racism workshops across the nation, as she believes in the liberation of our minds as a way of overcoming oppressive social structures, and much more.

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Imani Joye Samuels is a spirituality thought leader. She dreams of a world that celebrates stillness as a means to discover peace. As a champion of the practice of rest, Imani founded Huru, a sacred space in the heart of Washington, DC, designed to foster rest. Huru infuses clinical, cultural and spiritual touches to facilitate deep introspection and optimal shut eye in an all-inclusive weekend. Her efforts have helped individuals and organizations across North America, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE, and the UK. 


As Loyalty Director at AARP, Imani co-leads AARP Rewards, a digital gamified platform for the greater good that drives meaningful impact. Imani is an MA candidate in the Spirituality Mind Body program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds an MA in Public Communication from American University and BA in Journalism from Howard University. Imani studied democratization and dance at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. 


Imani is married with two young feminists, both who have a great sense of curiosity, purpose and imagination.

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Chloe Dulce Louvouezo is a Congolese-American writer who grew up in Niamey, Niger. As a storyteller, she curates prose and experiences that support inclusivity and belonging of underrepresented communities from across diasporas. She is the executive producer and host of the Life, I Swear podcast and author of the soon-to-released Life, I Swear book (HarperCollins Publishers), through which she explores the nuances and insights into topics relevant to modern women’s lives, from identity and healing to trauma and resilience, told through the lens of Black women.

In her thirteen-year career in communications, diversity, and inclusion, Chloe has advocated for inclusive storytelling at domestic and global organizations addressing education, poverty, and mental health, most recently at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Services for the Underserved. 

Chloe earned her BA in Journalism from Howard University with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology and her MPS in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She holds a professional certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership from Cornell University. 

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Isis-Rae Goulbourne is the founder and CEO of DEUIT, a design and innovation agency based in Stamford, CT. Also the founder of the lifestyle and retail brand Little Black Boutique, her life’s mission is to give a path to business and individuals to “do the thing” that only they can do. 

Isis-Rae considers it her soul purpose to create vehicles of empowerment for others. Through DEUIT, she empowers businesses with futuristic technologies to improve and expand their return on investment (ROI). She works daily to highlight individual creativity and is committed to applying the principles of design thinking in her work. 

In 2020 Isis-Rae launched LBB, to give both men and women of all colors the tools they need to connect to their higher self and step fully into their own unique soul purpose.

Moderated by: 

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Awoye Timpo is a New York-based performing arts director and producer. Her work with AAPF includes development of the play Say Her Name: The Lives That Should Have Been. Awoye’s New York credits include work at New York Theatre Workshop, The Vineyard Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, Atlantic Theater Company, the National Black Theater and the Public Theater. Regionally she has directed at Studio Theatre (DC), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven) and Berkeley Rep. Her work has also been seen in Edinburgh and Johannesburg. Awoye works as a Creative Director for music events and is a Producer of CLASSIX, a series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights.

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Venus E. Evans-Winters, Ph.D. is a Senior Researcher at the African American Policy Forum. Her areas of research are educational policy analysis, Black girls’ and women’s onto-epistemologies, and critical race feminist methodologies. The former Professor of Education, Women & Gender Studies, and African American Studies is the author of Black Feminism in Qualitative Inquiry: A Mosaic for Writing Our Daughter’s Body and Teaching Black Girls: Resilience in Urban Schools. She is co-editor of the books, Black Feminism in Education: Black Women Speak Up, Back, & Out and Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader. Her forthcoming co-authored text is Introduction to Intersectional Qualitative Research. Dr. Evans-Winters is also a clinical psychotherapist in private practice and founder of Planet Venus Institute.

With performances by:


Gina Loring, of African American, Eastern European Jewish and Muscogee Creek Native American descent, alchemizes sociopolitical issues into art. As guest artist of the American Embassy under the Obama administration, she has performed her poetry and music in over ten countries. She was featured on two De La Soul albums, two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry, and has been commissioned to write poems honoring Quincy Jones and Prince. With a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles, she is a Doctoral student in Educational Leadership and a professor in the Los Angeles Community College District. Additionally, she teaches poetry workshops with incarcerated teens and youth transitioning out of trafficking.


Abby Dobson is AAPF's Artist-In-Residence. A Sonic Conceptualist Artist, Dobson’s sound is the alchemy of R&B/Soul, jazz, classic pop, gospel, and folk, forging a gem that erases musical boundaries. Abby has performed at venues such as S.O.B's, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, and The Tonight Show (Jay Leno). Her debut CD, "Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On” was released in 2010 to glowing reviews. Abby received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. An independent scholar, Abby’s research interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in the imagination, creation, consumption, and distribution of music.

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