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We are in a new defining moment to reshape the narrative around sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors.

Black survivors have been a key part of defining moments to call out sexual violence. Yet, as movements to address sexual violence have emerged, Black survivors’ experiences and stories have gone underexamined—and worse, Black survivors have been silenced or received backlash when they speak out.

We, As Ourselves is a call-to-action to center the voices and experiences of Black survivors and to create the cultural conditions for Black survivors to be heard and supported.

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We, As Ourselves aims to reshape the narrative about sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors.

Many factors leave Black survivors unprotected and vulnerable to sexual violence, including a series of norms and narratives shaped by historical and systemic barriers rooted in a legacy of slavery and the commodification of Black bodies, cultural and societal myths about Black women’s sexuality, misogynoir, and the adultification of Black girls, and the complexities of speaking out within the Black community.

In an era when we are demanding justice for Black lives, we cannot forget about Black survivors.

Led by The ‘me too’ Movement, National Women’s Law Center, and TIME’S UP Foundation, We, As Ourselves is a collaboration to reshape the narrative about sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors. Together, we are:

  • Fighting for Black survivors to safely share their stories and experiences;
  • Upending historical and cultural narratives that harm and silence Black survivors; and
  • Working in solidarity with our community to create conditions where the stories of Black survivors can be heard, believed, and supported.
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Inspired by the godmothers of the movement

We, As Ourselves pays homage to the godmothers of our movement – those whose names we know and those we do not – who’ve come before us, the paths they’ve laid, the voices they’ve uplifted, and their fearlessness in truth-telling.

We are motivated by their work to showcase the essence of Black fortitude, resilience, and strength and to ensure that Black survivors can live full, safe, and joyful lives. The name of the project, We, As Ourselves, is inspired by the work of Paula Giddings in When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America. In that text she writes:

“In the nineties and beyond, we might ask then, who are we as ourselves? What would we say to Anita Hill outside the earshot of whites or men or our mothers and fathers? What do we feel about a Million Man March, notwithstanding the participation of our sons and brothers and husbands? Who are we when no one yearns for us, or when we are in full possession of our sexuality? Who are we when we are not someone’s mother, or daughter, or sister, or aunt, or church elder, or first Black woman to be this or that?”

About Us

  • We, As Ourselves is a collaboration, powered by The ‘me too’ Movement, National Women’s Law Center, and TIME’S UP Foundation to reshape the narrative around sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors.

  • ‘me too’ Movement

    ‘me too.’ International works to center survivors in the movement to end sexual violence through survivor and community healing programs, community organizing, narrative change, and resource building. As The ‘me too.’ Movement affirms empowerment through empathy and community-based action, the work is survivor-led and specific to the needs of different communities.

  • National Women’s Law Center

    The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice — in the courts, in public policy, and in our society — working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us — especially those who face multiple forms of discrimination, including women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families. For more than 45 years, we have been on the leading edge of every major legal and policy victory for women.

  • TIME’S UP Foundation

    TIME’S UP™ Foundation insists upon safe, fair, and dignified work for all by changing culture, companies, and laws. We enable more people to seek justice through TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We pioneer innovative research driving toward solutions to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace through TIME’S UP Impact Lab. And we reshape key industries from within so they serve as a model for all industries.

Want to learn more about We, As Ourselves?

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We, As Ourselves Virtual Event #2