At the Intersection: Activism, Sexual Assault, and Criminal (In)Justice

Last summer as an intern with Ella Baker Center, I allowed my light to resurface and rehabilitate after falling upon harsh times. Trauma is defined by the unbearable and the unspeakable; it's what we feel isolates us the most in our lives and it's so hard to rid one's self of menacing ghosts of the past and present.

In collaboration with the team at Ella Baker Center and through my agency to heal, I was able to reveal and find my identity while stepping powerfully into my womanhood. I'm grateful to continue the fight against mass criminalization of people of color alongside the staff—I'm now the Communications and Operations Associate!

Ella Baker believed in the power of every day people. I believe in the power of my voice, this work and my people everyday! Listen to my testimony and find the perspective of an Afro-Latina woman's experience with the movement against mass incarceration, sexual violence, and racial identity. Saludes!

“Something [Anthony Sul] told me one night was ‘The movement is already here. We just need to push it.’ That was so impactful to me because I always felt like we had to recreate something or to fabricate something from scratch based on our experiences and traumas. Through his words, I realized we must not react to our trauma and triggers in ways that recreate the systems we are fighting. We must realize there has been a resistance ever since this nation was raped and pillaged. So with that recognition that people before us have died for this cause and there has been blood on these streets long before we were just trying to clean them–knowing that the movement is already present–we just have to forcefully step into our power.”

             

This Q&A originally appeared on Latinx Perspectives. It was written by Cynthia Rubi Cortes.