Press Release-NO! The Rape Documentary Presented at Bennett College for Women

13 01 2007

PRESS RELEASE

NO! The Rape Documentary Presented at Bennett College for Women

“One out of three women in the United States will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.” Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, President of Bennett College for Women asks: “Why are we silent about one of the most barbaric, intensely painful, ultimately destructive acts that any community can endure?” In partial response Ms. Aishah Shahidah Simmons gives us NO! The Rape Documentary (from AfroLez® Productions) an award winning film. Based on intimate testimonies from Black women victim/survivors, commentaries from acclaimed African-American scholars and community leaders, including our own Johnnetta B. Cole NO! uses archival footage, spirited music, dance, and performance poetry to unveil the reality of rape and other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American communities.

The Africana Women’s Studies Program at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, is pleased to announce the return of Aishah Shahidah Simmons and NO! to our campus on Thursday, February 8th, 2007.

Events begin with the Africana Women’s Studies ACES Program at 11:00am in Annie B. Pfeiffer Chapel featuring discussion by Aishah Simmons on the making of NO!. Acclaimed musician, Monica Dillon of New Orleans, Louisiana, will join Ms. Simmons on the program performing the song “No” featured in the documentary. Introductory remarks from Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, spoken word and poetry performances by Bennett Belle Wallis Burks and UBUNTU, a coalition of women of color and sexual assault survivors from Durham, North Carolina are also part of the morning program.

The documentary NO! will be screened at 6:30pm in The Little Theatre on the campus of Bennett College for Women. The filmmaker, Aishah Simmons, will introduce the film. UBUNTU and Ms. Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney, Bennett artist-in-residence will facilitate an after-the-film conversation.

Ms. Simmons first came to Bennett as part of the inaugural festivities for President Cole with NO! as a work-in-progress and returns to Bennett with this amazing documentary. In returning to Bennett with the completed work, Aishah helps us celebrate the scholarship and tenure of a remarkable president.

“We wanted to offer something different from our usual celebrations of Black History Month. In bringing NO! to our campus during this month we have an opportunity to bring out of the shadows a subject that is usually treated with silence within our community. Our goal with these programs is to encourage informed dialogue in order to promote healing and reconciliation between women and men” –Valerie Ann Johnson Kaalund, Mott Professor and Director of Africana Women’s Studies, Bennett College for Women.

BOTH EVENTS ARE FREE OF CHARGE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

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