The Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Assault

Black Women’s Blueprint's held the 2016 Tribunal of the Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, from April 28-May 1, 2016, as part of the International Decade of People of African Descent at the United Nations. The Truth Commission reflected a continued process five years in the making, involving national grassroots activism, direct service healing practice and participatory action research by Black Women’s Blueprint and survivors across the country on sexual violence as a human rights atrocity against women and girls of African descent past and present, which has never been acknowledged or sufficiently addressed. The Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the first of its kind in the nation to focus on rape and sexual assault against Black women in the United States. Women and girls of African descent, many of whom were denied access and assistance from the criminal justice system, began to organize, realizing their own and collective transformation could not happen without public recognition and acknowledgment of the injustices and harms they had experienced. Out of these early discussions—first in New York City, and later in cities across the country such as Washington D.C., New Orleans, Mississippi, and Chicago—the BWTRC was born. Our Mandates: Truth. Justice. Healing. Reconciliation.


Agunda Okeyo

Author, Writer, Activist,
Women's Media Center, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Indiewire

Alicia Garza

Activist, Speaker, Organizer, Founder
#BlackLives Matter

Alisa Del Tufo

Activist, Oral Historian, Founder
Threshold Collaborative

Amrita Kapur

Senior Associate, Gender Justice Program
The International Center for Transitional Justice

Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Black Feminist Scholar, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s
Studies and English at Spelman College

Ejim Dike

Executive Director
U.S. Human Rights Network

Jamia Wilson

Movement Builder, Storyteller, and Feminist Activist
Executive Director, Women's Media Center

Loretta Ross

Human Rights and Reproductive Justice Advocate, Co-founder and 2005-2012 National
Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Lynn Rosenthal

Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Former White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Monika Johnson-Hostler

Executive Director, NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault
and National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Netsanet Tesfay

Consultant, International Labor Organization
and International Organization for Migration

Quentin Walcott

Movement Maker, Anti-Vilence Activist, Co-Executive Director

Ruby Sales

Civil Rights Activist, Writer, Mobilizer, Founder, Spirit House

Stephanie Colon

Community Organizer, Anti-Oppression Activist, Poet and Artist

Farah Tanis

TRC Chair, Co-Founder, Black Women's Blueprint and Museum of Women's Resistance

A Digital Reckoning Campaign

The Digital Reckoning Campaign is a call-and-response digital project grounded in the concept of reconciliation for Black women with Black men, white men, white feminists, and other people of color to acknowledge the ongoing, complicit oppression of Black women. From descendants of slave owners coming to terms with the sins of their ancestors to Black men admitting to remaining silent and not showing up for Black women who continue to be brutalized, Black Women's Blueprint calls for a dynamic dialogue on Black women’s pain and struggles. We hope to feature a myriad of intergenerational voices responding to violence against Black women.

Click to play