Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

  • aishah shahidah simmons

Aishah Shahidah Simmons

School of Social Policy & Practice
Visiting Scholar (2016-2018)

Aishah Shahidah Simmons is a Philadelphia-based award-winning Black feminist lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist with over two decades of experience of working on gender-based violence issues in the United States and internationally. 
Professor Simmons is a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative (JBC) Fellow through which she is developing a multimedia project, #LoveWITHAccountability, to examine how accountability is a powerful and necessary form of love to address child sexual abuse. #LoveWITHAccountability also will examine how the silence around child sexual abuse in the familial institution plays a direct role in creating a culture of sexual violence in religious, academic, activist, political, and professional institutions.


As a 2016-2018 Visiting Scholar at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, she will conduct research and continue to develop her #LoveWITHAccountability project under the auspices of the JBC Fellowship.
Previously, Professor Simmons was the 2015-2016 Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College, an Adjunct Professor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Temple University, an O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at Scripps College, an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and an Artist-in-Residence at Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon.
For more information about Ms. Simmons and her films (including the internationally acclaimed Ford Foundation-funded NO! The Rape Documentary) and publications click here.